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Streaked Flycatcher

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Mount St. Benedict

Photo courtesy Dr. Steve M.R. Young

This bird has a black heavy bill with the lower mandible dusky on a brown head with a concealed yellow crown patch and black eye streak with white supercilliary streak. Below the black eye streak there are whitish lower cheeks and a dusky moustachial streak. The back is brown with dark brown streaks. The wings are brown edged with rufous and white. The rump and tail are broadly edged chestnut. The underparts are dull yellowish white with faint dark brown streaks on the throat and more noticeable dark brown streaks on the breast and flanks. Both sexes are alike with length being 8.5 inches (22cm) and weight being 43 grams.

This bird is resident in Trinidad and Tobago. The population may be boosted by austral migrants moving up from southern South America. Austral migrants are boldly streaked black on the back, have tails that are dusky black with narrow rufous edging and extensive black streaks on white underparts.

This large, conspicuous flycatcher is found in pastures and other clearings with scattered trees and at the forest’ s edge, but it is not found in the midst of closed woodland. This bird perches high in trees on open areas within the tree and may sit quietly for long periods.

Consistent with the manner of other flycatchers, it sallies after insects that it takes from foliage and branches. It also eats fruits, including the fruit of the Cecropia tree and small lizards. When the Streaked Flycatchers catches a lizard it perches on a branch with the lizard in its bill and batters the lizard against the branch. When the lizard has been killed or at least sufficiently numbed, it swallows the lizard head first.

It can be a noisy species, singing at dawn and dusk. The common callnote of the Streaked Flycatcher is a wiry, nasal tsu-ka’ , tsu-ka’.

According to Skutch the nest is usually built in a cavity, such as an old woodpecker’ s hole or one resulting from decay, preferably high up in a tree trunk. Crevices among the bases of the fronds of tall palm trees are also chosen, and in Trinidad the species is reported to place its nests on bromeliads growing on trees. Bird boxes are accepted where available, and in lieu of a better-enclosed nook the bird may build in an exposed corner of a roof. Dead trees standing in lakes, well out from shore, are sometimes chosen as nest sites.

Family - Flycatchers

Latin Name - Myiodnastes maculatus

Range - Mexico through Central and South America, Trinidad and Tobago


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Life Histories of Central American Birds II. Alexander F. Skutch. 1960, Cooper Ornithological Society

Nesting of the Streaked Flycatcher in Panama. Alfred O. Gross. 1950, The Wilson Bulletin, Vol. 62, 183 -193

Birds of Venezuela. Steven L. Hilty. 2003, Christopher Helm, London

A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago. 2nd edition, Richard ffrench. 1992, Helm, London

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Last modified: February 16, 2008