Brown-crested Flycatcher

Myiarchus tyrannulus

Photo © by Robert Shantz

This Brown-crested Flycatcher was photographed by Robert Shantz in Carlisle Canyon, Grant County, New Mexico, June 28, 2007.

Brown-crested Flycatchers are fairly common birds in the Sonoran Desert during the late spring and summer months especially on well-vegetated bajadas and in riparian habitats. They look similar to the Ash-throated Flycatcher but have a heavier bill and more extensive rufous on the top side of the tail. The return of their sharp, raspy calls in mid spring is a sure sign that hot summer weather is on the way.

These are flycatchers, for sure, catching many flying insects from mid air. But they are also adept at gleaning insects from vegetation or even the ground, often without landing. Cicadas are an important food item, but they prefer the silent, but egg-laden females. Male cicadas let loose with a tirade of buzzing when caught and the flycatchers often release them in response.

Summer Resident - Migration to Neotropics for winter months

More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 4 Nov. 2007,
updated 7 Oct. 2022.