Piratic Flycatcher - Birds of the Guyanas 19

in #birding3 years ago


The Piratic Flycatcher (Legatus leucophaius) is a conspicuous bird with a very distinctive song that sometimes can be heard the whole day long. I haven't seen this little fellow for a while but last week it showed itself again in our garden. Initially I thought that this was a variegated flycatcher. The two look very similar, but this one is easily identified by its song once you know it.


The Piratic Flycatcher is a bit of a naughty bird. Or maybe it's just lazy. This bird steals the nests of other birds. Especially bigger nests from much bigger birds like the big woven nests of the Crested Oropendola. After the original owners of the nest have been driven away by this persistent relatively small bird, it takes over the nest and removes the eggs.


I've no idea how they manage to do that. The nest of the Crested Oropendola is over a meter long, with the opening at the top. How do they remove the eggs? Do they make another opening at the bottom so that the eggs simply fall down? Does it then close the nest again? I've no idea. It's difficult to imagine that this 15 cm long bird, weighing only 23 grams, picks up the big eggs of a bird that weighs at least five times as much and pushes them out through the opening at the top of the nest.


The Piratic Flycatcher is a resident breeder that occurs in eastern Mexico and most of the two-thirds northern part of South America. It lives in woodlands and fields as long as there are some tall trees available. This bird has been observed breeding in Suriname from October till May.


Thanks for visiting my blog and happy birding.



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