"Red and Black and Sought All Over"

Vermilion Flycatcher

        flycatcherThe Winter Bird Festival is coming. It’s the time of year when everyone wants to come to St. George to see the Vermilion Flycatcher. Who wouldn’t give a month’s wages to see this bright red beauty? Well . . . maybe not, if you aren’t a birder. But if you are, and you live up north of St. George . . . its gotta be on your "Wanna See Bird List."

        Each year there are reports that this flashy little bird is seen in the St. George area. They have been to our place multiple times. We live in a horse area, and horses seem to attract the flycatcher by what’s flying in the air, or what’s left on the ground. The problem with the Vermilion Flycatcher is, that it changes location based on food supply. One year there are several at the Red Hills Golf Course. Another year we see them at the Bloomington Golf Course and the Water Treatment Plant. Still another year, we find them both places and a single flycatcher all the way over to Hurricane. This flycatcher generally forages from an exposed perch taking a variety of aerial and terrestrial arthropods such as butterflies, grasshoppers, flies, beetles, and spiders. When leaves are on trees, the colors of bright red and black make a good camouflage. When the trees shed their leaves, and the limbs are bare against the sky, you may find the flycatchers have been there all the time. During the breeding season, male Vermilion Flycatchers perform a spectacular flight above the tree canopy, appearing to bounce across the sky on fluttering wings while singing, trying to attract a mate.

        Brenda Rusnell is our artist for the elusive Vermilion Flycatcher. Thank you Brenda for showing us what a beautiful bird this flycatcher is.

        Bird Alert: Do you have a Vermilion Flycatcher in your neighborhood? Give me a call at 435 673-0996.


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