[en] The anatomical distribution and seasonal variations in aromatase activity and in the number of aromatase-immunoreactive cells were studied in the brain of free-living male pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca). A high aromatase activity was detected in the telencephalon and diencephalon but low to negligible levels were present in the optic lobes, cerebellum, and brain stem. In the diencephalon, most aromatase-immunoreactive cells were confined to three nuclei implicated in the control of reproductive behaviors: the medial preoptic nucleus, the nucleus of the stria terminalis, and the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. In the telencephalon, the immunopositive cells were clustered in the medial part of the neostriatum and in the hippocampus as previously described in another songbird species, the zebra finch. No immunoreactive cells could be observed in the song control nuclei. A marked drop in aromatase activity was detected in the anterior and posterior diencephalon in the early summer when the behavior of the birds had switched from defending a territory to helping the female in feeding the nestlings. This enzymatic change is presumably controlled by the drop in plasma testosterone levels observed at that stage of the reproductive cycle. No change in enzyme activity, however, was seen at that time in other brain areas. The number of aromatase-immunoreactive cells also decreased at that time in the caudal part of the medial preoptic nucleus but not in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (an increase was even observed), suggesting that differential mechanisms control the enzyme concentration and enzyme activity in the hypothalamus. Taken together, these data suggest that changes in diencephalic aromatase activity contribute to the control of seasonal variations in reproductive behavior of male pied flycatchers but the role of the telencephalic aromatase in the control of behavior remains unclear at present.