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Created 26-Aug-09
Modified 1-Jan-22
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Tyrant flycatcher

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This article is about the new world Tyrant Flycatcher family Tyrannidae. For the old world flycatcher family Muscicapidae, see Old World flycatcher. For other uses, see Flycatcher (disambiguation). Tyrant flycatchers Yellowish flycatcher,
Empidonax flavescens Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Aves Order: Passeriformes Parvorder: Tyrannida Family: Tyrannidae
Vigors, 1825 Genera
Some 100, see text Distribution of tyrant flycatchers
The tyrant flycatchers (Tyrannidae) are a family of passerine birds which occur throughout North and South America. They are considered the largest family of birds, with more than 400 species. They are the most diverse avian family in every country in the Americas, except for the United States and Canada. As could be expected from a family this large, the members vary greatly in shape, patterns, size and colors. Some tyrant flycatchers superficially resemble the Old World flycatchers, which they are named after but are not closely related to. They are members of suborder Tyranni (suboscines), which do not have the sophisticated vocal capabilities of most other songbirds.[1]
Most, but not all, species are rather plain, with various hues of brown, gray and white commonplace. Obvious exceptions include the bright red vermilion flycatcher, blue, black, white and yellow many-colored rush-tyrant and some species of tody-flycatchers or tyrants, which are often yellow, black, white and/or rufous, from the Todirostrum, Hemitriccus and Poecilotriccus genera. Several species have bright yellow underparts, from the ornate flycatcher to the great kiskadee. Some species have erectile crests. Several of the large genera (i.e. Elaenia, Myiarchus or Empidonax) are quite difficult to tell apart in the field due to similar plumage and some are best distinguished by their voices. Behaviorally they can vary from species such as spadebills which are tiny, shy and live in dense forest interiors to kingbirds, which are relatively large, bold, inquisitive and often inhabit open areas near human habitations. As the name implies, a great majority of tyrant flycatchers are entirely insectivorous (though not necessarily specialized in flies). Tyrant flycatchers are largely opportunistic feeders and often catch any flying or arboreal insect they encounter. However, food can vary greatly and some (like the large great kiskadee) will eat fruit or small vertebrates (e.g. small frogs). In North America, most species are associated with a "sallying" feeding style, where they fly up to catch an insect directly from their perch and then immediately return to the same perch. Most tropical species however do not feed in this fashion and several types prefer to glean insects from leaves and bark. Tropical species are sometimes found in mixed-species foraging flocks, where various types of passerines and other smallish birds are found feeding in proximity.
The smallest family members are the closely related short-tailed pygmy tyrant and black-capped pygmy tyrant from the genus Myiornis (the first species usually being considered marginally smaller on average). These species reach a total length of 6.5–7 cm (2.6–2.8 in) and a weight of 4–5 grams. By length, they are the smallest passerines on earth, although some species of Old World warblers apparently rival them in their minuscule mean body masses if not in total length.[2] The minuscule size and very short tail of the Myiornis pygmy tyrants often lend them a resemblance to a tiny ball or insect. The largest tyrant flycatcher is the great shrike-tyrant at 29 cm (11 in) and 99.2 grams (0.219 pounds). A few species such as the streamer-tailed tyrant, scissor-tailed flycatcher and fork-tailed flycatcher have a larger total length (up to 41 cm (16 in)), but this is mainly due to their extremely long tails; the fork-tailed flycatcher has relatively the longest tail feathers of any known bird.[3]
A number of species previously included in this family are now placed in the family Tityridae (see Systematics). Sibley and Alquist in their 1990 bird taxonomy had the genera Mionectes, Leptopogon, Pseudotriccus, Poecilotriccus, Taenotriccus, Hemitriccus, Todirostrum and Corythopis as a separate family Pipromorphidae,[4] but although it is still thought that these genera are basal to most of the family, they are not each other's closest relatives.[4]

Categories & Keywords
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:Flycatchers, Kingbird, Pennsylvania, Pewee, Phoebe, avian, birds

Alder Flycatcher,(Empidonax alnorum) -8728Alder Flycatcher,(Empidonax alnorum) -8738Alder Flycatcher,(Empidonax alnorum) 8743Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) 1076Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) 1059Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) 1065Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) 1077Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) 1082Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)-1085Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)-1076Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) 2930Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) 2926Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) 2931Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) 2938Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) 5707Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) 1963Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)- 1970Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) nestlings-9245Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) -2607Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) 3390