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Crowned Slaty Flycatcher

Empidonomus aurantioatrocristatus

Length: 7 inches Wingspan: 11 inches Seasonality: Non-resident in South Dakota
ID Keys: Black crown, brownish-gray upperparts, gray underparts with slight yellowish tinge on undertail coverts, blackish lores, gray supercillium stripe

Crowned Slaty Flycatcher - Empidonomus aurantioatrocristatusThe Crowned Slaty Flycatcher is a small flycatcher species normally found in South America.  They are migratory and a handful of cases have occurred where birds have appeared far out of normal range.  In the North American ABA area, they are known from a single sighting, when a bird was found in southern Louisiana in 2008.  Paul Conover and Buford Myers found the bird, knew it was a one-of-a-kind specimen, and, sadly, decided to "collect" the bird, supposedly for "study".  The bird is now on display at the Louisiana State Museum of Natural Science. The killing of the only bird of its kind to ever find its way to North America raised considerable ire among the birding and conservation community.  The two men who saw it never provided any opportunity for any one else to enjoy the bird's presence, and given that it is a common species in South America and much is known about it, "collecting" it for study is, at best, QUESTIONABLE!!! (Pardon the editorial, but this case really irritates me).

Habitat: Found in open woodlands, forest edges, and forest clearings.

Diet: Mostly feeds on insects.

Behavior: Forages by observing from a perch and flying out to capture insects that it spots.

Song: Weak, high-pitched series of whistles, consisting of several very short individual whistled phrases.

Migration: Breeds in Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia.  Some may be permanent residents in central South America, but most are migratory, moving northward after the breeding season to as far north as Ecuador, Columbia, and Venezuela.

Interactive eBird Map: Click here to access an interactive eBird map of Crowned Slaty Flycatcher sightings

Similar Species: The Crowned Slaty Flycatcher is a close relative of the Variegated Flycatcher, another species found in South America that has been occasionally found as a vagrant in North America.

Conservation Status: Overall populations are considered stable, they are found over a wide geographic area, and they are common in parts of their range.  The IUCN lists the Crowned Slaty Flycatcher as a species of "Least Concern".

Further Information: 1) Birdlife International - Crowned Slaty Flycatcher

2) First North American Record of Crowned Slaty Flycatcher in North America

3) Cornell's Neotropical Birds - Crowned Slaty Flycatcher

Photo Information: Photo taken by Wagner Machado Carlos Lames - December 24th, 2008 - Goiania, Golas, Brazil - Photo licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.


Click below for a higher-resolution map
Crowned Slaty Flycatcher - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Non-resident in South Dakota

Additional Crowned Slaty Flycatcher Photos (coming soon!!)