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Royal Flycatcher

 - Photo Diego Quesada  / Asociación Ornitológica de Costa Rica
-


Wild Costa Rica:

the Royal Flycatcher



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Published on Friday, September 8, 2023
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff





The Royal Flycatcher (Onychorhynchus coronatus) is a small bird species known for its distinctive and elaborate crest, which it can erect when displaying or feeling threatened. 


It is a member of the family Tyrannidae, which includes various species of flycatchers found in the Americas.


This captivating species is known for its striking appearance and unique behavior. It serves as a reminder of the incredible diversity of birdlife found in the rainforests of Costa Rica.


The Pura Vida country is one of the countries where you can find these striking birds. They inhabit dense, tropical rainforests and lowland areas, particularly along the Caribbean and Pacific coasts. 


The bird is primarily found on the Caribbean side of the country, especially in lowland rainforests and wetter habitats. It can also be encountered on the Pacific slope in certain areas, especially in the southern part of the country.


Royal Flycatchers in the country inhabit lush, primary tropical rainforests and mature secondary-growth forests. They are often associated with riverbanks and areas near water bodies.


Observing a Royal Flycatcher can be a rewarding experience for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts. While they are relatively inconspicuous when not displaying, their vibrant crest and distinctive appearance make them a sought-after species for birdwatchers who visit the country.




The conservation status of Royal Flycatchers in Costa Rica is influenced by the conservation of their rainforest habitats.

The ongoing protection and preservation of Costa Rica's diverse ecosystems, including its rainforests, play a crucial role in ensuring the survival of species like the Royal Flycatcher.

This is a relatively small bird, measuring around 15-16 centimeters (6-6.3 inches) in length. Its most striking feature is its vibrant and colorful crest, which consists of long, bright orange-red feathers that can be raised to form a fan-like display. The rest of its plumage is generally brownish or olive, helping it blend into its forested habitat.

Royal Flycatchers are insectivorous birds, and their diet primarily consists of insects and other small invertebrates. They often perch on branches or foliage and make short aerial sallies to catch flying insects.

These birds are often observed perched quietly in the lower to middle levels of the forest canopy, waiting for passing insects. When they spot prey, they quickly dart out to catch it in mid-air before returning to their perch.

Royal Flycatchers are known for their intricate courtship displays. During the breeding season, males will extend their crest feathers into an impressive display to attract females. They build cup-shaped nests on branches or in tree cavities, usually near water, and lay a small clutch of eggs.

There are several subspecies of Royal Flycatcher recognized, with subtle differences in their plumage. These subspecies are found in different parts of their range.

The conservation status of the Royal Flycatcher is generally considered to be of "Least Concern" according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, like many tropical forest birds, their habitat is under threat due to deforestation and habitat destruction.

When visiting Costa Rica for birdwatching or wildlife observation, it's essential to follow responsible ecotourism practices and support conservation efforts to help protect the natural habitats of these and other incredible species.

The Royal Flycatcher is just one of the many fascinating bird species you can encounter in Costa Rica's rich and biodiverse landscapes.



On the Wild Costa Rica page, you might discover more about the fascinating species that make the Pura Vida land one of the world's countries with the richest natural diversity.



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What should Costa Rica do to protect the endangered tropical birds?
We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com








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