Pic of the Week: Social FlyCatcher

picture taken on the grounds of the Sleeping Giant resort in Belize.
Photo by 5BlueMedia.


This tiny (18 centimeteres from beak to tail) tropical bird is known as a Social Flycatcher, and is one of the most widely spread members of its species in Belize. Sometimes divided into into two subspecies (the Social Flycatcher, Myiozetestes similis, in northern Central America and the Vermilion-crowned Flycatcher, M. smilis proper, in more southern latitudes) the Social Flycatcher shares its family with nearly a hundred other species of flycatchers under the Tyrant family, which in turn are known for their rather dull yellow, gray, and brown colors. Interestingly enough, flycatchers have a habit of mingling with other small tropical birds in mix-species foraging flocks, which can be seen everywhere from broad lead forests to cities and towns.

Although the Social Flycatcher is small, it is far from the smallest member of its family, with the Short-tailed Pygmy Tyrant and Black-capped Pygmy Tyrant sharing the record at 6.5-6.7 centimeters (2.5-2.7 inches). The Social Flycatcher also shares in its family the Great Kiskadee, known for its unique call, known as “bien-te-veo” in spanish (I see you well!), and its large size, which at 11 inches is a far cry from its smaller Pygmy and Social cousins. All flycatchers, M. similis included, are known for their flamboyant acrobatic maneuvers preformed while catching insects in mid-air (as can be seen in this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR_qO8deeZ0).

This picture was taken during the summer of 2012 at the Sleeping Giant resort in Belize (south of Belmopan) by the staff of 5BlueMedia.

article by Devin Windelspecht; photo copyright 2012 Ricochet Creative Productions; may be used for educational purposes.

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