Return of Bird of the Week: One-colored Becard


Among the hundreds of kinds of flycatchers, there is a genus called Becards. They occurs throughout the Neotropics, although one species, the Rose-throated Becard, occurs as far north as the far southern United States. Altogether there are 17 species of Becards.

Sometimes WC suspects that ornithologists ran out of imaginative names for birds, and the poor One-colored Becard would be Exhibit A. Seriously, this is handsome bird; “one-colored” is the best ornithology can do?

One-colored Becard, Darién Province, Panama

Female One-colored Becard, Darién Province, Panama

Becards as a group are large-headed  birds, and the One-colored is no exception. Males are predominantly blackish, albeit becoming steadily paler over the underparts, and females are warm rufous over the back and wings, and more cinnamon over the remainder of the body and head, again grading paler below.

Female One-colored Becard, Darién Province, Panama

Female One-colored Becard, Darién Province, Panama

Panama, where these birds were photographed, is near the northern limit of the species’ range. Never all that common, in WC’s experience, they are found as far south as northwestern Peru.

Despite strenuous effort, WC has only been able to photograph four of the 13 species of Becards. At that, these are among the better photos WC has, and these are only of females. Partly it’s the species’ preference for deep canopy and partly their preference for mid-canopy foraging.WC vows to return to the tropics and try for more.

This species does not seem to be under special threat; its extensive range and willingness to eat fruit as well as insects seems to serve it well.

For more bird photographs, please visit Frozen Feather Images.

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