Identification: This is a somewhat drab bird, overall gray, small, with a distinct white eye ring, two white wing bars, and whitish underparts. Immature birds may have some pale yellow beneath as well. Males and females are similar.
The Least Flycatcher employs an interesting strategy of clustering multiple individual territories, each only about ten meters across. This clustering is not related to vegetation characteristics, but somehow (scientists don’t know the specifics) concerns the role of sociality in the bird’s ecology. Other Least Flycatchers are chased out of these mini-territories, as are most other species that dare to approach the nest, but the territories overlap with those of some other flycatcher species. This bird’s name comes from its most often observed behavior of flying from a branch to catch insects in the air. It nests in a tree, often in open forest or shrubby areas.
What brings it to the SBG?
Food, cover, nesting sites. Mainly an insect eater, the Least Flycatcher occasionally consumes berries or seeds.
When can I see it?
Spring through fall. In winter it migrates to Mexico and Central America.