Legatus leucophaius, Papamoscas Rayado Chico (Spanish)
Black-masked Pirates lurk on the high trees waiting to steal their booty. Since these pirates don’t build their own nests, they rob other birds’ covered nests or hanging sac nests. These thieves even hang around while the nest builder(s) constructs their nests and lay eggs. Then the pirate pair continually harass the nest owners. One pirate may lead the hosts away from their nest while the other steals every egg in the clutch and then drops each one to the ground until all the eggs are gone. Plus even chicks can be killed.
In some instances the flitting filchers remove eggs or chicks from other nearby nests to build a defense area around their stolen treasure. I’d call that a “robbing ‘hood.” They often overtake nests of oropendulas, becards, caciques, other flycatchers, and orioles and line the bottom of their newly acquired home with dead leaves. I wonder when the raider chases away the hosts of an oriole hanging sac, if it’s called “ran-sac-ing?”
These 5-6 inch pirates are called Piratic Flycatchers.
According to one source, the adults may feed entirely on fruit even while they feed the chicks insects such as dragonflies. Furthermore this species migrates when fruit seems more abundant than insects. Furthermore, it seems the pair can feed on unripened fruit which means they can eat quickly. The well-fed male marauder can spend about 90% of his time singing noisily above the hijacked nest rather than foraging. Even the female squatter sings a low melody while she incubates her two-three eggs in their reclaimed prize. A victory song?
LINK TO SONG AND CALLS: http://www.xeno-canto.org/259031
When I first saw a pair of this pale yellow-vested species lurking near an Altamira Oriole pendulous nest, they looked like the Social Flycatcher. Both species belong in the aggressive terrorists’ family of tyrant flycatchers. But this tyrant has a one-of-a-kind genus, Legatus.
On an outing in Quintana Roo of the Yucatan Peninsula, I learned about the Piratic Flycatchers that migrate north from South America as SUMMER resident breeders from May – Sept. They range from southeastern Mexico to northern Argentina and Trinidad. Birders in Texas and Kansas even spotted vagrants. This widespread species is found in borders of humid forests, clearings with scattered TALL trees, and cacao and coffee plantations.
When I think of bird migrants, I usually think of birds flying south for the winter. As I’ve mentioned before, the Yucatan Peninsula is a hotspot for migratory birds with over 1,000,000 birds flying through or overwintering on it. Now I realize that some birds fly north from South America.
MIGRATE OUTDOORS TO LET YOUR SOUL FLY TOO!
DISCLAIMER: References do not agree on details about this species. Here are my resources: Personal communication with Barbara MacKinnon de Montes, The Auk, Volume 94, Number 1 (1977) Eugene Morton, The Mind of Birds, Sal a Pajarear Yucatan Guia de Aves, The Suboscine Passerines: The Birds of South America, Vol II, A Guide to the Birds of Venezuela. A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America, Birds and Reserves of the Yucatan Peninsula, A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica, A Guide to the Birds of Colombia, http://macaulaylibrary.org/ a website from Cornell Lab of Ornithology, http://www.birdsoftt.com/birds_info/piratic%20flycatcher.htm
Cherie Pittillo, “nature inspired,” photographer and author, explores nature everywhere she goes. She’s identified 56 bird species in her Merida, Yucatan backyard view. Her column, published on the 7th and 21st of each month, features anecdotes about birding in Merida, Yucatan and beyond. Contact: email@example.com All rights reserved, ©Cherie Pittillo
more recommended stories
Quintana Roo state authorities are working towards an economy with zero net carbon emissions
Quintana Roo is working towards an.
Popocatépetl volcano registers six explosions in a 24-hour period (VIDEO)
The Popocatépetl volcano located 50 miles.
Absurd: Venezuelan firemen arrested for donkey video mocking Nicolás Maduro (VIDEO)
CARACAS, Venezuela — Two firefighters have.
Cinco Patas organize fourth spay & neuter annual campaign for dogs and cats in vulnerable situation
The Cinco Patas civil association has.
Environmentalists monitor ‘La Calma’ project in Tulum, Quintana Roo
The permit process of the ‘La.
A project to remove 88,000 tons of plastic from the Pacific has begun
An ambitious project to clean up the 88,000.
The Top Tips to Startup and Fund a Business
The idea of starting a business.
What to do for a Family Member Trapped in Addiction?
Living with a loved one who.
Top Tips to Saving Money on Large Purchases
Do you make financial resolutions every.
Indigenous students from Yucatan sing the Mexican National Anthem in Mayan language
A total of 193 students from.