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.
Song is a series of rising, staccato notes, ending in a trill: pit-pitpit-zree!
Females can have pinkish or yellowish wash on lower belly. Brown breast streaks, dark mask, and short dark tail are best field marks.
Found near open water in dry habitats with scattered trees in the Southwest. Also found along streams, near ponds. Most noticeable as it sorties into the air after insects and returns to a perch.
The male vermilion flycatcher performs an amazing courtship flight above his territory, fluffing out his red feathers while fluttering and singing, then swooping back to a prominent perch.