Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Least Flycatcher Nest

One day in late June, I stopped on the side of a road to make some notes about birds I had just seen.  Movement in nearby trees caught my attention.  I noticed a miniscule nest built in the fork of a small tree.  What small bird made this?

I waited a few minutes and a Least Flycatcher flew in and settled down.

All About Birds nest description:  Neat open cup woven of bark strips, grass, caterpillar webs, lichens, hair, feathers, rootlets, mosses, and other bits of vegetation; lined with fine grasses, feathers, hair, down, and plant stems; placed in crotch or fork of small tree.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, I was again in the vicinity.  Madam Flycatcher was not on the nest.  I was about to get out of my car and have a closer peek at the nest when she flew in with some sort of insect...

...and up popped a tiny beak.

All About Birds Cool Fact:  One Least Flycatcher nest was found to have used dragonfly wings as nest lining.

I'd never seen a baby Least Flycatcher before.

An adult is about 5.25 inches/13 cm long.

I watched her make several forays; she was feeding at least two chicks.

It was another few weeks before I returned.  The nest was empty.  

I hope the little family thrived and are now making their way to a southern destination.

Another Cool Fact:  Unlike most species of songbird, adult Least Flycatchers migrate to their wintering grounds before molting, while young birds molt before and during autumn migration. Why such a pattern has developed remains unclear, but it may result from strong selection on adults for early arrival and establishment of territories on the wintering grounds.

Range Map of the Least Flycatcher

Information Source:
All About Birds 


  1. I think we've seen these at our cabin. At first we thought they were oversized hummy birds because of similar colors, but when we saw them fly we knew we were wrong. Great pix of such a lovely bird K.

  2. It's the only one of the peeps that I see frequently around here but surely never a baby not that close. Great post!

    1. Thanks, TB. A bit of luck to find an active nest.