Blog Archive: Flycatchers

Birdorable Eastern Kingbird

2020 Bonanza Bird #29: Eastern Kingbird

Birdorable Eastern Kingbird

Today’s new Birdorable is one of three “kings” we’ll introduce in the days leading up to Christmas. Here is the Birdorable Eastern Kingbird!

Eastern Kingbirds are large flycatchers native to the New World. These migratory birds breed across much of the United States, except for in the far west. Winters are spent across western parts of South America.

The Eastern Kingbird is a “tyrant” flycatcher – its scientific name is Tyrannus tyrannus. Tyrannus translates to “king” or “tyrant” and refers to the aggressive behavior seen in these birds and others in the same family. There are about 437 species in the tyrant flycatcher family and all are native to the New World.

Eastern Kingbird
Photo by USFWS Midwest Region (public domain)

Tomorrow another “king” will join Birdorable. This species of sea duck is found in both New World and Old World waters. Do you know this one?

Birdorable Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

2016 Bonanza Bird #1: Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

November 25th, 2016 in Birdorable Bonanza 2016, Flycatchers 5 comments
Birdorable Scissor-tailed Flychatcher

It's time for our 2016 Birdorable Bonanza! This time we are commemorating the 10 year anniversary of Birdorable with a 10-bird celebration.

Today's new bird is the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, a beautiful species in the kingbird genus and the tyrant flycatcher family. These beauties breed in south central parts of the United States and migrate down into Central America for the winter.

Male and female Scissor-tailed Flycatchers have similar plumage: greyish upperparts, light underparts with salmon or pink flanks, and black and white feathers on their extremely long tails. Males have longer tails in general -- up to 30% longer than typical females.

Scissor-tailed Flycatchers feed on a variety of insects which they hunt in a hawking fashion (flying out to capture prey discovered while waiting on a perch). Their long tails make them agile in flight, able to make quick turns and drops in pursuit of prey.

Tomorrow's new bird is the largest in a family known for their unique plumage and remarkable courtship rituals. Can you guess what species it is?

Birdorable Collared Flycatcher

2015 Bonanza Bird #13: Collared Flycatcher

Our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition continues today with a pretty black-and-white flycatcher from the Old World: the Collared Flycatcher!

Birdorable Collared Flycatcher

The Collared Flycatcher is a pretty black-and-white species of songbird found in the Old World. These flycatchers are migratory; they breed across parts of Europe and winter in southeastern parts of Africa.

As one would expect, Collared Flycatchers feed on flying insects. They also eat other insects like ants and spiders, as well as snaile. They may also feed on seeds and berries found in their preferred forested habitat.

Collared Flycatchers nest in cavities, using tree holes or nest boxes. An open nest is constructed inside the cavity for incubation and brooding. During the nesting and fledgling stages, young Collared Flycatchers or unhatched eggs may fall prey to Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

Via scientific bird ringing or banding, it is known that the longest-lived wild Collared Flycatcher reached nearly 8 years of age.

Muchárik bielokrký (Ficedula albicollis); Collared Flycatcher
Photo by Andrej Chudý (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Halsbandsflugsnappare / Collared Flycatcher
Photo by Stefan Berndtsson (CC BY 2.0)

The Collared Flycatcher is our 629th Birdorable bird. Be sure to check out our collection of apparel and gifts featuring the Birdorable Collared Flycatcher!

Our Bonanza continues tomorrow with a bird named for its very large beak. Can you guess tomorrow's species?