The vermilion flycatcher or common vermilion flycatcher (Pyrocephalus obscurus) is a small passerine bird in the Tyrannidae, or tyrant flycatcher family. Most flycatchers are dull in color, but the vermilion flycatcher is an exception. It is a favorite with birders, but is not generally kept in aviculture, as the males tend to lose their vermilion coloration when in captivity. Typically, a male vermilion flycatcher has a red crown, throat, and underparts offset by the dark brown upperparts. Adult females are a pale gray above and streaky chested with a dark mask and black tail. Females can have a pinkish or yellowish wash on lower belly. Their song is a series of rising, staccato notes, ending in a trill: pit-pitpit-zree!
“I was in El Fuerte on the river in the mango groves when I spotted my first one. The Vermilion Flycatcher was an almost hallucinogenic red. He would perch himself on the top of a cactus and stay perfectly still….and when a big fat fly or bee would check him out as a potential flower, BAM! He would strike in a perfect circle and nail its prey in one gulp. Then he would return to his perch and await the next victim. I have over the years seen, scarlet, purple, and green fly catchers. They are hard to find, but once you have one in front of you, they do not spook easily as they are thinking, “I am a flower”. ~ Mondo
Vermilion Flycatchers are found in the southeast of the United States and southward. Predominantly, they feed on insects and hunt in perches near water lands. Also, they can be found in grasslands and deserts. Generally, they migrate south for the winters as far as South America.