Texan Ash-Throated Flycatchers

Myiarchus cinerascens

Sightings of the Ash-Throated Flycatcher are not uncommon in western USA. These birds breed in desert scrub, riparian woods, brushy fields and open woods from the western United States to central Mexico. They do not require water to drink. They can get their moisture supply from the bugs they eat. Most, if not all Myiarchus flycatchers nest in cavities. Old woodpecker nests holes or natural cavities are often used.

Science first discovered the Ash-Throated Flycatcher in 1851 when a specimen was collected in Texas. The current scientific thinking about the taxonomy of these birds suggests two subspecies. M. c. cinerascens is the race we see in the USA and the Mexican mainland. On the Baja California peninsula there is found the race M. c. pertinax.

I can recall my first meeting with this species in April 2003 while exploring Hot Springs Mountain in the high back country of San Diego County. First meeting are usually special, and this one was no exception. 2003 turned out to be an irruption year for Ash-Throated Flycatchers in the county, and I began meeting them most places I explored. I even had them visiting me at my Poway home.

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