Monday, December 12, 2016

Black and red

A very few Vermilion Flycatchers are resident in San Diego's North County. Otherwise they are rare annual winter visitors. One winter location they are regular is in the Tijuana River Valley. There are four birds that recently arrived for winter at the Sunset Avenue ball fields in Imperial Beach.

These are small flycatchers, phoebe-like in behavior. Their winter habitat is large lawns--golf courses, cemeteries, ball fields. They frequently perch on lone saplings and fence posts, and sally out to chase flying insects at lawn-level.

Adult males are a hurt-your-eyes reddish-orange on the crown and under parts. They have a black mask, nape, back, rump, wings, and tail.

Vermilion Flycatcher
Vermilion Flycatcher
Vermilion Flycatcher
Vermilion Flycatcher. Imperial Beach, California. November 25, 2016. Greg Gillson.
Vermilion Flycatcher
Paler male, likely one year old.
Vermilion Flycatcher
There were two birds that appeared to be young females.