Return of Bird of the Week: Social Flycatcher

There are a truly bewildering number of species of flycatchers. There are more than 400 species of Tyrant Flycatchers alone, and Tyrant Flycatchers are just one of the five New World families of flycatchers. Think of it: 400 consecutive weeks of Tyrannidae. WC won’t do that, but we’ll have a look at some of the New World’s bug-eating birds. And we’ll start with a few of the confusing largish yellow, black and white flycatchers.

Social Flycatcher, Costa Rica

Social Flycatcher, Costa Rica

The thing about many species of Tyrant Flycatchers is that they are closely similar. The scientific name of the Social Flycatcher is Myiozetetes similis, and “similis” is Latin for “the similar one.” In the Social Flycatcher, the head is dark grey with a strong white eyestripe and a usually concealed orange to vermilion crown stripe. The upperparts are olive-brown, and the wings and tail are brown with only faint rufous fringes. The underparts are yellow and the throat is white. Over the next few weeks, you will see this description fits a depressingly long list of species. And Myiozetetes aren’t even the hard ones.

Social flycatchers breed in plantations, pasture with some trees, and open woodland from northwestern Mexico south to northeastern Peru, southern Brazil and northwestern Argentina. It is a very common and wide-ranging species and thus not considered threatened by the IUCN.

For more bird photographs, please visit Frozen Feather Images.


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