The Vermilion Flycatcher, a flame-red bird, stands out as it perches atop desert riparian vegetation such as honey mesquite. Generally, a resident in the Southwest, Vermilion Flycatchers breed from South to Central America and Mexico.
Flycatchers are known for perching and then flying out to catch an insect and bring it back to their perch. This maneuver is called "sallying." During the breeding season, the male will puff his fiery plumage while singing and propel himself into the air, rising higher and higher over his territory.
Why a Species of Concern
Considered a species of concern in California and placed on the LCR MSCP Multi-Species Conservation Program for its dwindling populations in the Lower Colorado River Valley, these stunning birds are impacted by loss of habitat and water management practices that have reduced annual flooding leading to the loss of native habitat (i.e., cottonwoods and willows).
Once numerous along the Lower Colorado River, by the 1980s, less than ten pairs were found. GBBO estimated just over 100 pairs in their 2015 analysis showing some recovers. They aren’t often in native habit and seem to be pushing out of the Sonoran Desert into the Mojave with the creation of artificial habitats such as golf courses and suburban parks.