Southwest Willow Flycatcher

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image: SWwillowflycatcher.jpg

Common Name: Southwestern Willow Flycatcher

Scientific Name: Empidonax traillii extimus

Size: 5.75 inches (15 cm)

Habitat: North America; Southwestern United States in willow riparian habitats.

Status: Status: Endangered. Global Population: unknown. Its primary threat to existence comes from cattle ranching. The cattle trampled and graze the riparian woodlands that the flycatcher lives in. The cattle also are accompanied by the dreaded "Cowbird". The cowbirds knock out a few of the flycatchers eggs, lay their own eggs in the flycatcher's nest and take off,... leaving the flycatcher to raise it's nestlings (children). The cowbird nestlings are larger and hungrier and cut down the survival rate of the flycatcher's true offspring. You'd think the flycatchers would be able to distinguish their offspring from cowbirds, but they don't.

Diet: Flying insects.

Breeding: The nest is built of cattail tufts, shredded bark and grasses, and lined with fine grasses and feathers .It is usually placed in a branch fork in a willow, near water. The eggs are buff with dark spots at one end. The typical clutch of 3-4 eggs is laid in May-June.

Cool Facts: The Southwestern Willow Flycatcher was red-listed in 1996. It closely resembles the parent species, Willow flycatcher. The easiest way to distinguish this flycatcher from other flycatcher species is surprisingly not to rely upon its appearance, but from its distinct “fitzbew” song. The flycatcher, as it’s name suggests live off flying insects. It breeds and nests in dense riparian habitats along rivers, streams, or other wetlands. The most likely areas are amongst thick groves of willows and seep willow. Almost all flycatcher-breeding areas are within close proximity of water.

Found in Songbird ReMix Threatened Endangered Extinct 1

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