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Vermillion Flycatchers Are Radiant In Vibrant Red

Amy Pilkington 20 Sep 2020

For some reason, I constantly mix up the color names of vermillion and viridian. So when I first clicked the link to a bird called a vermillion flycatcher, I had the image of a green bird in my head and boy was that ever wrong.

Viridian is a deep bluish green hue, while vermillion is a bright orange-leaning red.

And the vermillion flycatcher is perfectly named.

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These vibrant birds are common in the most southwestern parts of the United States, and widespread throughout Central and South America.

There aren't a lot of regional differences among the breed, though there are a few populations in South America where they are almost entirely gray-brown.

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They prefer open habitats full of short, shrubby plants and plenty of insects to feed on.

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They are stationary hunters, preferring to pick a perch to sit on and dart out to snatch passing insects. Often, they will chose the same perch to sit on for hours until they've eaten their fill.

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Like many bird species, the males are the most vibrant.

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Females and juveniles are almost all gray and brown, with duller red or orange patches on their bellies and rears.

It takes about two weeks for babies to become fledglings and leave the nest.

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Males have a very showy mating display that includes flight and song.

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They will rocket as high as fifty feet into the air and sing while puffing out their feathers and fluttering in a dance-like manner. Then they'll swoop right back down to their perch and wait for the ladies.

h/t: Audubon, All About Birds

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