Ash-Throated Flycatchers Nesting In My Backyard
Ash-Throated Flycatcher photo by Mark Schmitt
This beautiful peaceful bird is another one of my favorite nesting birds in my backyard. I think I love it mostly because of it’s soft, melodious call and the ballet style movements of flight that the Ash-Throated Flycatcher demonstrates. When you see this bird flying, it looks so easy and effortless it makes you feel as if you could fly too. As you watch them catch insects in midair with graceful ease you can’t help but be impressed. Listen to the Ash-throated Flycatcher by double clicking on the arrow below.
The Ash-throated Flycatcher breeds in desert scrub, riparian forest, brushy pastures and open woodlands from the western United States to central Mexico. It is a short-distance migrant, retreating from most of the U.S. spending the winter from northern Mexico and southern California and Arizona south to Honduras. Their nest is built in a tree cavity or similar natural hole or a man made birdhouse. They will readily nest in bluebird houses but I give them a bit more space with a 6″ x 6″ floor. To learn how to build them a birdhouse go here Build Your Own Flycatcher Birdhouse or click the link in the sidebar under “Bird Houses”.
These beautiful birds are 7 – 8 inches long and weigh in at about 3/4 to 1 1/4 ounces. They are a medium sized bird with a short bushy crest and a long rusty tail. The upperparts are olive brown with a darker head. The breast is grey and the belly is a beautiful, very pale yellow. Their brown tail feathers and wings have rufous outer webs and they have two dull wing bars.
Ash-throated Flycatchers are primarily insectivores. They will capture insects off vegetation, on the ground and as you will see, in midair with the greatest of ease. They will also eat berries in winter if insects are unavailable.
The Ash-throated Flycatcher is one of my favorite birds to watch in my own backyard. If you can get a pair to breed in your backyard or on your property you will love them too. They will come back year after year to breed and give you many, many hours of enjoyment.