Their crests are so spectacular, so colorful and so striking, it’s a shame they are only used for special occasions.
MEET THE ROYAL FLYCATCHER
The royal flycatchers are a genus, Onychorhynchus, of passerine birds in the Tityridae family. These birds measure between 16.5 – 18 cm (6.5-7) in length. The male’s crest is red, with plumage above being brown with small buffy spots on his wing coverts. The rump and tail are dull yellowish-brown in color.
The crests themselves are seldom seen, usually only during breeding season or when the birds are handled.
The female is very similar to the male with one major difference being her yellow-orange instead of red.
The birds are native to the Amazon Basin on the Caribbean coast of Colombia and the Pacific coast of Ecuador.
Royal flycatchers prefer living in forest and woodland areas in lower to mid-level growth areas where they hunt flutters actively hunting insects.
The breeding season depends on what country these birds live in. For instance, in Guatemala, it is from April to July, and in March to June in Costa Rica, where a rather messy nest is built of dead vegetation. This nest hangs from the tip of a branch, often along streambeds.
Unfortunately, all populations of Royal Flycatchers are under threat mainly due to deforestation.