The pied flycatcher is a small bird - slightly smaller than a house sparrow. Males have black upperparts and white lower parts and strong white patches on the folded wing. Compared to males, females are much more of a browner colour.
These birds spend the winter in West Africa and visit the UK in summer, where it spends most of its time in western areas breeding.
Their diets consist of caterpillars and insects. In late summer and during migration they eat fruit and seeds.
Previously classed as a member of the family Turdidae (predominantly thrushes) the red-flanked bluetail is now generally acknowledged to belong to the family of old world flycatchers, Muscicapidae. This monotypic passerine resembles the European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) in size, shape and behaviour.