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Vermilion flycatcher

Pyrocephalus rubinus

Photo by Pablo Leautaud (Flickr)

Common name:
vermilion flycatcher (en); príncipe (pt); moucherolle vermillon (fr); mosquerito rojo (es); rubintyrann (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

These birds are found in the south-western United States, through most of Mexico and Central America and into South America as far south as central Argentina. Some of the more northern population migrate south to winter in the Amazon basin and south-eastern Brazil, where the species is mostly absent as a breeding bird.

The vermilion flycatcher is 13-15 cm long and have a wingspan of 22-25 cm. They weigh 11-14 g.

These birds are mostly found in open habitats, such as open woodlands and savannas, forest clearings, dry scrublands, agricultural areas, deserts and riparian woodlands. They tend to be found near water, at altitudes ranging from sea level up to 3.000 m.

They forage by sallying out from a perch, taking both flying and terrestrial arthropods such as flies, butterflies, grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, bees, termites and spiders.

Vermilion flycatchers can breed all year round, varying between different parts of their vast breeding range. They are monogamous and nest in a shallow cup made of twigs, grass, small roots and lichens, held together with spider webs and lined with feathers and hair. The nest is placed in an horizontal fork in a tree, often near water. The female lays 2-4 white, cream or pale brown eggs, which she incubates alone for 13-15 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 13-18 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 5-50 million individuals. Even though the species may be facing declines in some areas, due to habitat loss, it is not threatened at present.

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