Flycatchers

Acadian Flycatcher

Acadian Flycatcher (Photo: Majoros/Wikimedia)

Look for Song is often an important clue in identifying the little gray and greenish flycatchers. In the South, the Acadian is the only one that nests outside of the Appalachians and the rolling Piedmont surrounding them. (Willow, least, and alder flycatchers provide ample identification challenges in these areas.) From spring into midsummer, the Acadian… See details »

Great Crested Flycatcher

Great Crested Flycatcher (Photo: Hans Hillewaert / Wikimedia)

Look for One of our larger flycatchers at 8 ½ inches tall, the great crested flycatcher is a pleasing blend of colors with a lemon belly and underwings and a rufous tail, set off by a gray head and olive back. Males and females are alike in appearance, and both will aggressively defend their nesting… See details »

Say’s Phoebe

Say's Phoebe

Look For A medium-sized gray-brown flycatcher with rufous pink sides and a square black tail. Dark eye line stands out on gray head. Upper wings, best seen in flight, are plain gray. Like other phoebes, the Say’s phoebe wags its tail while perched. Listen For A sad-sounding, down-slurred call: pee-yerr or pyeer. Sometimes alters the… See details »

Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird (Photo: Creative Commons)

Look For Among our common flycatchers, the western kingbird, with its pale gray head, white throat, and lemon yellow belly, stands out. In flight, the black tail shows white edges. Listen For Short squeaky call notes. Also a series of explosive, sputtery squeaks like a squeeze toy getting chewed on by several puppies at once… See details »

Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher by James Diedrick

Look For It’s hard to misidentify a male vermilion flycatcher, with his flaming red crown, throat, and underparts offset by the dark brown mask and upperparts. Adult female is pale gray above and streaky chested with a dark mask and black tail. Some adult females show a pink wash on the belly. Listen For Song… See details »

Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird (Photo: Creative Commons)

Look For Black above, white below, with a heavy black bill, the Eastern Kingbird looks a bit mean. As its Latin name suggests, it is a tyrant of tyrants, often attacking much larger birds that invade its territory. The obvious white tip to the black tail is a field mark unique to this flycatcher species… See details »

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe (Photo: John Benson/Creative Commons)

Look for The eastern phoebe, unlike most other flycatchers, is relatively easy to identify. A medium-sized bird that constantly wags its tail, the phoebe also gives a vocal clue to its identity by softly uttering its name—fee-bee. Phoebes are a dark, drab gray-brown on the back, with faint wing bars and a light breast and… See details »

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Photo: Creative Commons)

Look For There is almost no mistaking the scissor-tailed flycatcher. The male’s nine-inch-long tail and the female’s slightly shorter one proclaims their identity whether seen in good light or in silhouette, flying or perched. Except for the fork-tailed flycatcher of the American tropics (an extremely rare vagrant north of the Mexican border), no other North… See details »

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