Description of the Vermilion Flycatcher

BREEDING MALE

The Vermilion Flycatcher is a small flycatcher with a dark mask through the eye and a black tail. Males and females are very different in plumage.

Males are brilliant crimson red on the head and underparts, with black upperparts.

Female

Females have white underparts streaked with brown, a yellowish to pinkish vent, and grayish upperparts.

Seasonal change in appearance

None.

Juvenile

Juveniles have white underparts spotted with brown, and mottled grayish upperparts.

Habitat

Vermilion Flycatchers inhabit arid, open country with scattered trees, and are often found near water.

Diet

Vermilion Flycatchers eat insects.

Behavior

Vermilion Flycatchers forage by observing for flying insects from an exposed perch, and then sallying out to capture them in flight.

Range

Vermilion Flycatchers breed across much of the southwestern U.S.  They are resident from Mexico south to South America, and occasionally winter in the southernmost U.S.  The population appears to be stable.

Fun Facts

Vermilion Flycatchers cough up pellets of indigestible insect parts.

During courtship, male Vermilion Flycatchers perform a fluttering flight song high above the trees.

Vocalizations

Calls include a sharp "seep", while the song consists of sharp notes or a trill.

Nesting

The Vermilion Flycatcher’s nest is a cup of twigs, weeds, and grass, sometimes covered with lichens, and placed on a horizontal tree fork.

Number: Usually lay 3 eggs.
Color: Whitish with darker markings.

Incubation and fledging:
The young hatch at about 14-15 days, and begin to fly in about another 2 weeks, though continuing to associate with the adults for some time.