Ramrod Ranch, Monterey, California 2014

A common flycatcher of open arid areas of the West, the Ash-throated Flycatcher nests in holes in trees, fence posts, and nest boxes.

Adult Description

  • Medium-sized bird, medium to large flycatcher.
  • Long rusty tail.
  • Short, bushy crest.
  • Back brown.
  • Throat and chest pale gray.
  • Belly pale yellow.

Immature Description
Juvenile similar to adult, but paler, with buffy tips to wing feathers, and more rufous in tail.

Cool Facts

  • Unlike most members of its genus, the Ash-throated Flycatcher only occasionally uses snakeskin in its nest. Only 5% of nests examined contained reptile skin, but 98% had mammal hair. Rabbit fur was the most frequently used.
  • The Ash-throated Flycatcher frequently uses man-made structures for nesting. It readily uses nest boxes, as well as pipes, fence posts, ledges under eaves or porches, and even in clothes hanging on a clothesline. The use of artificial structures may have offset the loss of natural nest sites by development, and may be responsible for an increase in numbers.
  • The Ash-throated Flycatcher is a rare, but regular vagrant to the East Coast. Individuals turn up nearly every year, and have been found in all coastal states and provinces. Sightings are less frequent from inland areas in the East and Midwest.
  • The oldest known Ash-throated Flycatcher was just under 12 years old, when it was recaptured and rereleased during a banding operation in California.


Range Map

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