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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Vermillion Flycatcher -- Pyrocephalus rubinus

RANGE: Breeds from southern California, southern Nevada, central Arizona, central New Mexico, and western Oklahoma south to South America. Winters from southern California and southern Nevada to the Gulf Coast, east to south-central Florida, and south to Central America.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Found in the arid Southwest, occuring almost exclusively near water. Favor wooded groves of cottonwood, willow, oak, mesquite, and sycamore bordering rivers, especially near open, brushy, grassy, or agricultural fields. Also occurs in widely spaced junipers and oaks, and in dry washes on the plains.

NEST: Builds nest on a small, horizontal forked branch usually 8 to 20 feet, but sometimes 40 to 50 feet, above the ground, and usually near a stream or other source of water. Nests in willow, sycamore, mesquite, cottonwood, oak, paloverde, hackberry, and other trees and bushes.

FOOD: Forages from a conspicuous perch, often only a few feet above the ground or water, for insects such as bees, grasshoppers, and small beetles.

REFERENCES: Bent 1942, Harrison 1979, Johnsgard 1979, Taylor and Hanson 1970, Terres 1980, Terrill in Farrand 1983b.

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