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Ash-throated flycatcher

Myiarchus cinerascens
(Photo from Wikipedia)

Common name:
ash-throated flycatcher (en); papa-moscas-de-garganta-cinza (pt); tyran à gorge cendrée (fr); copetón cenizo (es); Kalifornien-schopftyrann (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

These birds breeds throughout the western United States, from eastern Washington state south to Mexico and east to western Texas and Oklahoma. In Mexico they breeds in Baja California and throughout north-central Mexico down to Guanajuato. They migrate south to winter from southern Mexico to Costa Rica.

Ash-throated flycatchers are 19-21 cm long and have a wingspan of 30-32 cm. They weigh 21-38 cm.


This species occurs in deserts, where they inhabit cottonwood-willow riparian, mesquite woodland, xeric-riparian woodland, uplands of columnar cacti, and Joshua tree woodland. They also occur outside of deserts in oak woodland and pinyon-juniper habitats. They can be found from sea level up to an altitude of 1.400 m.

Ash-throated flycatchers mostly eat insects and spiders. They also feed on small fruits and berries and are known to ocasionally take small reptiles and mammals.


These birds are normally monogamous with the pair aggressively defending the nest against conspecifics and other species. They breed in March-July, nesting in cavities, such as woodpecker holes but also nest boxes and other human structures. Inside the cavity the female builds a cup of fine roots, grass, plant stems, and dried manure and lines it with fine grasses and matted hair and fur. There she lays 3-7 creamy white eggs with dark streaks and blotches, which she incubates alone for 14-16 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 16-17 days after hatching. After fledging they may become fully independent in as little as 3 days or continue to be fed by the parents for up to 2 weeks. Each pair raises 1-2 broods per season, depending on latitude and elevation.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population of 8,9 million individuals. The population has undergone a small increase over the last 40 years so the species is not considered threatened.
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