Posted By Zoey T. Posted On

A ‘Flame-headed’ Feathered Ember, Flitting About In A Desert Landscape – Meet The Vermillion Flycatcher!

A fire-headed feathered ember conspicuously flying through a desert landscape!


Photo Courtesy of Nigel/CC BY 2.0

The vermilion flycatcher (Pyrocephalus obscurus)is a small passerine bird in the tyrant flycatcher family of birds. Measuring 5.1 – 5.5 in length from tip to tail this bird weighs in at 0.39 to 0.49 ounces. Males are bright red on their underparts and cap with contrasting dark brown above plumage.

Photo Courtesy of Gary L. Clark / CC BY-SA 4.0

Compared to the male, the female looks drab, having a peach-colored belly with dark gray upper parts.

These birds can be found in many parts of North America down through into Latin America. Especially in Southwestern USA and Argentina.

Photo Courtesy of Nigel/CC BY 2.0

Vermillion Flycatchers like to live alongside the sides of streams in arid country, savanna, and ranches.

Photo Courtesy of julian londono/CC BY-SA 2.0

It can also be found in dry grassland or desert with scattered trees, but it is more frequently found near water.

Photo Courtesy of ALAN SCHMIERER/Public domain

After a peculiar flying singing display, during the breeding season, the female builds a nest in a horizontal fork of a tree around 6 to 20 feet above the ground. The nest is a compact cup constructed from twigs, grass, and weeds, bound together with spider webs, and decorated with lichen. She goes on to incubate her 2 – 4 eggs, though the male helps out from time to time. After 14 – 15 days they hatch and are fed by both sexes becoming fledged in 14 – 16 days.

Photo Courtesy of Charles Gates/CC BY 2.0

This species has an extremely large range and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion.

Photo Courtesy of Félix Uribe/CC BY-SA 2.0