Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus)

Vermilion Flycatcher

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Tyrannidae | [latin] Pyrocephalus rubinus | [UK] Vermilion Flycatcher | [FR] Tyran ecarlate | [DE] Purpurtyrann | [ES] Mosquero Cardenal | [NL] Rode Tiran


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Lessonia rubinus
Pyrocephalus rubinus NA, LA sw USA to Argentina
Pyrocephalus rubinus ardens
Pyrocephalus rubinus blatteus
Pyrocephalus rubinus cocachacrae
Pyrocephalus rubinus dubius
Pyrocephalus rubinus flammeus
Pyrocephalus rubinus major
Pyrocephalus rubinus mexicanus
Pyrocephalus rubinus nanus
Pyrocephalus rubinus obscurus
Pyrocephalus rubinus pinicola
Pyrocephalus rubinus piurae
Pyrocephalus rubinus rubinus
Pyrocephalus rubinus saturatus

Physical charateristics

Male : Crown (often raised in a bushy crest) and underparts flaming vermilion ; upperparts and tail dusky to blackish. Immature male
: Breast whitish, with some streaks; belly and undertail coverts washed with vermilion. Female : Breast whitish, narrowly streaked; belly washed with pinkish. Immature female
: Belly washed with yellow.

Listen to the sound of Vermilion Flycatcher

[audio: Flycatcher.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

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North America, Latin America : Southwest USA to Argentina


Streamsides in arid country, savanna, ranches.
In some areas may be found in dry grassland or desert with scattered trees, but much more frequent near water: short trees along streams, edges of ponds. Winter strays in the Southeast are in open clearings or brushy areas near water.


Male performs flight-song display above territory: fluffing out body and head feathers and rising high in air (up to 50′ or more) in peculiar fluttering flight while singing rapidly and repeatedly, then swooping back down to perch.
Nest: Female builds nest in horizontal fork of tree, usually 6-
20′ above ground, rarely up to 50′ or more. Nest is a compact cup of twigs, grass, weeds, often held together with spider webs and decorated with lichens. Nest lining is of finer plant materials, hair, and feathers.
Eggs: Usually 3, sometimes 2-4. Whitish with bold spots of brown, olive, lavender. Incubation is by the female (the male may rarely take a turn on the nest), 14-15 days.
Young: Both parents feed the young. Young fledge in 14-16 days, and male may tend the full-grown young while female begins second nest. 2 broods per year.

Feeding habits

Insects. Diet not known in detail, but apparently feeds entirely on insects, including beetles, flies, wasps, grasshoppers, and many others.
Forages by watching for prey from exposed perch, then sallying out to capture flying insects in the air, also by hovering and dropping to the ground for small insects. If beehives are placed close to favored foraging sites, sometimes consumes many bees.
Indigestible parts of insects are coughed up later as pellets.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Vermilion Flycatcher status Least Concern


Southwestern United States to Argentina. In winter a few wander along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida. Casual or accidental northward along Atlantic seaboard. Migration:
Found all year in most parts of range, but some withdraw in winter from northern and higher-elevation areas. Every year, a few spend the winter well to the east along the Gulf Coast, and west to the California coast.

Distribution map

Vermilion Flycatcher distribution range map

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