ARTISTS AND  BIRDS
by Marilyn and Keith Davis

"Bug Spray or Flycatchers???"

Vermilion Flycatcher

flycatcher         The Vermilion Flycatcher is the bird everyone comes to see at our Winter Bird Festival. This year only a few of those who made two or three trips to several known areas were able to find one. Were they moving out of the area? Had they found a new food supply? What was happening? Well, the Red Cliffs Audubon went on a May field trip to Grafton/Springdale and we hit the jackpot!

        
We were in the green fields of Rockville, just west of the Lucky Two Ranch, when we saw the male flycatcher. His flaming vermilion crown, throat, breast and belly with black cheek, back, wings and tail made quite a show. The female flycatcher was right there with him, dressed in her perfect camouflage of dark head and back with a white streaked front and a belly washed with pinkish color. They were small birds and extremely agile in their hunt for insects. The two of them stayed in that same area until each of the party had a good long look.

        
The flycatchers seemed to be protecting the nest and maybe babies. We saw them fly back and forth, out of this particular tree, time and time again, as though they were feeding a number of chicks as fast as they could find food. What a perfect spring day. What a treat to see the Vermilion Flycatchers in action, all the way up to Rockville. We drove with our windows open, enjoying the ‘surround sound’ of the variety of birds. There were beautiful green pastures full of cattle and yummy insects everywhere. It’s times like this, you need bug spray or more flycatchers.

        
Marilyn Davis is the artist for the Vermilion Flycatchers. Next month’s trip is June 15 to Cedar Breaks National Monument (another classic birding trip). If you have any questions about birds, our Monthly Meetings or field trips, please call 435 673-0996 or check our website at redcliffsaudubon.org .


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