Ash-Throated Flycatcher


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The name of this wonderful avian is longer than the bird itself is, but that’s OK.

This fine fellow was perched perfectly on a branch, staring off into the afternoon sun. I had seen it a while ago, and had been following it around before this photograph was made in the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. At first, he was going to have nothing whatsoever to do with me, but eventually, he decided that I was not likely, in fact, to eat him. In this he was completely correct. Eventually, he decided to simply sit and watch me watch him, and along the way, we got to “know” each other a bit. At first I thought this flycatcher was brown all over, with nothing else remarkable, but the more I looked the more I began to appreciate the subtle details and shadings of his feathers and his yellowish underbelly. He was not “just” brown, but rather a very pleasing and remarkable shade of brown, and so many different shades at that.

This is the only flycatcher that nests in cavities, which makes it unique amongst all the flycatchers. Common throughout the entirety of the southwest, it feeds primarily on insects, meaning it can catch a meal, literally, just about anywhere. Now, if only it had a shorter name…

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