Dusky-capped Flycatcher

The Dusky-capped Flycatcher (Myiarchus tuberculifer) is a small passerine bird found primarily in Mexico and parts of the southwestern United States during the breeding season. This charming flycatcher typically measures around 6 to 6.5 inches in length, with a wingspan averaging about 9 to 10 inches. In terms of weight, they generally range between 0.5 to 0.7 ounces. Distinguishing field marks of the Dusky-capped Flycatcher include its subtle but distinctive plumage, characterized by a dusky grayish-brown cap extending from the crown to the nape of the neck, contrasted with olive-green upperparts and a pale yellow belly.

During the breeding season, Dusky-capped Flycatchers can be found in a variety of wooded habitats, including pine-oak forests, riparian woodlands, and suburban areas with mature trees. They are adept aerial insectivores, often observed perched on branches or exposed branches, where they sally forth to catch flying insects on the wing. Despite their small size, they are highly territorial and will vigorously defend their nesting territories from intruders, including other birds.

Migration patterns of the Dusky-capped Flycatcher vary depending on their range. While some populations are year-round residents in warmer regions of Mexico, others undertake seasonal migrations to the southern United States during the breeding season. Their wintering grounds extend southward into Central America, where they inhabit a range of forested habitats. Migration timing and routes can be influenced by factors such as weather conditions and food availability along their migration routes.

Breeding pairs of Dusky-capped Flycatchers construct cup-shaped nests made of plant fibers, grasses, and other materials, typically placed in the fork of a tree branch or concealed within dense vegetation. Both parents share in the incubation of the eggs and the feeding of the young. Their nests are often well-hidden, providing protection from predators such as snakes and birds of prey.

Conservation efforts aimed at preserving and restoring suitable habitat for the Dusky-capped Flycatcher are crucial for ensuring the long-term viability of their populations. Threats to their habitat include deforestation, urbanization, and habitat fragmentation. By protecting and managing key breeding and wintering areas, as well as raising awareness about the ecological importance of these small insectivorous birds, we can contribute to the conservation of the Dusky-capped Flycatcher and other species that share its habitat.

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