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Gray Silky-Flycatcher

Ptilogonys cinereus

Length: 7.5 - 8 inches Wingspan: 11 inches Seasonality: Non-resident in South Dakota
ID Keys: White-eyering, short bill, black flight feathers and tail, grayish upperparts, white belly.  Males gray above, gray chest and throat, yellowish flanks, bright yellow undertail.  Females are similar but with duller tones.

Gray Silky-Flycatcher - Ptilogonys cinereusThe Gray Silky-Flycatcher is a relative of the Phainopepla, the rather unusual bird found in the American Southwest.  The Gray Silky-Flycatcher, however, is only a very rare vagrant to the United States, with a handful of sightings in southern Texas, as well as in California.  They are normally found in Mexico, with a range that also extends just into northern Guatemala.  Much like the Phainopepla, Gray Silky-Flycatchers feed heavily on berries, and can often be found in small foraging groups in areas with heavy berry crops.  Those found in the United States have been stray individuals, however.

Habitat: Found in montane pine and pine oak forests in their normal range in Mexico.

Diet: Feeds on fruits and berries, as well as insects and spiders.

Behavior: Usually forages in pairs, or in small groups.  When feeding, they are often found in the mid- to upper-stories of woodland canopies. 

Nesting: Builds a cup-shaped nest, and the female lays 2 eggs.  The female alone incubates the eggs. When the eggs hatch, both parents help tend to and feed the young, who leave the nest after about 25 days.

Song: The song of a Gray Silky-Flycatcher is a series of mellow warbled clucking notes.

Migration: Considered a permanent resident throughout their range.  Some birds may move short distances to lower elevations for the winter months, however.

Interactive eBird Map: Click here to access an interactive map of Gray Silky Flycatcher sightings

Similar Species: Phainopepla

Conservation Status: Populations are large, spread over a large geographic region, and are considered relatively stable.  The IUCN lists the Gray Silky-Flycatcher as a species of "Least Concern".

Further Information: 1) Cornell's NeoTropical Birds - Gray Silky-Flycatcher

2) BirdLife International - Gray Silky-Flycatcher

3) AvianWeb - Gray-Silky Flycatcher

Photo Information: Photo taken by Pablo Leautaud - December 11th, 2007 - San Angel Inn, Villa Obergon, DF, Mexico - Photo licensed under Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License.


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

Additional Gray Silky-Flycatcher Photos (coming soon!!)