Alternative name: Vermilion-crowned Flycatcher
- Myiozetetes similis
16cm (6.25"). Medium sized.
Short black bill.
Olive above; wing coverts and inner remiges edged grayish-white to buffy-white; crown brownish-gray (little contrast with olive back).
The semi-concealed central crown patch is vermilion, as suggested by its alternative common name: Vermilion-crowned Flycatcher. The long white eyebrow does not meet on nape. Sides of head dusky-blackish; throat white, rest of underparts bright yellow.
Immature: No crown patch, and wings and tail narrowly edged rufous.
Similar to the Rusty-margined Flycatcher, but adult Social Flycatcher lacks rufous in the wings, has olive (less brown) back, duller mask, and reddish-orange (not yellow-orange) crown patch. In Panama, Social F has hints of wing bars (vs. not) and paler belly than Rusty-margined F. In some areas, the best way to separate the two species is by listening for different voice. Beware of juvenile Social Flycatcher that has rufous in the primaries, but also has pale edgings to coverts.
Other superficially similar flycatchers have longer bill, yellow throat, white eye-brow meeting on nape or greyer head.
Central and South America
North-western Mexico to North-western Peru, North-eastern Argentina and Southern Brazil. Locally up to an altitude of 1500 m (4900 ft). Generally common.
Accidental vagrant to the United States with 1 record at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in Texas.
There are 7 subspecies:
- M. s. primulus:
- Western Mexico (southern Sonora to northern Sinaloa)
- M. s. hesperis:
- Western Mexico (southern Sinaloa to southern Zacatecas, south-western Puebla and Oaxaca)
- M. s. texensis :
- M. s. columbianus:
- M. s. similis:
- M. s. grandis:
- M. s. pallidiventris:
River banks, ponds, gardens, pastures and clearings with scattered trees. Often in urban areas.
Often in small groups.
Hawks insects in the air or darts out to snatch them from shrubs, bushes and vegetaion. Also eats seeds, berries and small fruit; will also catch tadpoles in shallow water.
Calls: sharp, harsh teeer or peeeeur, or a sad pe-ah or chee; also a repeated scolding wheer, a chipping wit, and a series of chu notes. Some variation in voice depending on subspecies.
Nest is a rather large structure with side entrance.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- BF Member observations
- A thread discussing identification is here. []
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Social Flycatcher. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 4 December 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/opus/Social_Flycatcher