Vermilion Flycatcher (Leucistic) ~ Rare

Kimberly Chadwick

Marana, United States

Artist's Description

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Taken at Sweetwater Wetlands in Tucson, AZ Jan 2010

281 views as of 7-6-10


Leucism is a condition characterized by reduced pigmentation in animals and humans. Unlike albinism, it is caused by a reduction in all types of skin pigment, not just melanin.

Generally seen alone or paired, perches on a low branch to scan for prey. Spotting it, then darting after the flying insects, catching them on the wing. Will also pounce on prey seen on the ground from a low perch. Like a Phoebe, pumps and spreads its tail continuously while perched.

Found near sources of water in arid and semiarid regions. Man-made irrigation zones,small wooded ponds,stream side bushes,etc. Females build a nest of sticks,grass,weeds, and feathers in the fork of a tree.

The male is somewhat similar to the Scarlet Tanager due to the striking red plumage (Though not in this case). Difference? You don’t see Scarlet Tanagers where you see Vermilion’s. The scarlet tanager does not have the mask across his face here as opposed to the vermilion flycatcher. The scarlet tanager is a larger bird. You wouldn’t necessarily find them in North America in the same area, however in their migratory route you will find them in the same area in South America where the tanager winters in the area where the flycatcher lives.

VOICE Song a rolling pi-pi-pi-piprrrrt!, rising then falling; repeated with mechanical regularity, often during slow, butterfly-like display. CALL a sharp, high pseep


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