Tyrant Flycatchers are the largest family of birds on the planet, with over 400 known species in existence. As a result, Tyrant Flycatchers come in a large variety of shapes and colors, with many different habitats and behaviors. If that doesn’t sound like bird watching heaven, what does? Here in Houston, Texas, you can observe over fifteen members of the Tyrant Flycatcher family in various forms (some quite beautiful) and varied habitats (swamps, orchards, and open fields.) For tips on finding and identifying just a few of the species of Tyrant Flycatchers in Houston, see below.
Great Crested Flycatcher. These Tyrant Flycatchers are normally found in forests and orchards, more commonly from April through October in Houston, Texas. Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary and High Island are good bird watching spots to look for these flycatchers. Look for them high in the treetops while bird watching in Houston, Texas, where you can distinguish them from their bright yellow bellies and the cinnamon on their wings and tails.
Vermilion Flycatcher. This gorgeous bird is easily identified while bird watching from its vivid scarlet coloring, accented by its black back and facial mask. Look for them in rural areas of Houston, Texas, usually near streams, ponds and other bodies of water, most often perched on low tree branches. Bear Creek Park, Arthur Storey Park, and Brazos Bend State Park are all good places for bird watching if you are looking for these flycatchers. They breed here in Houston, Texas, and have amazing courtship displays.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Look for these birds perched on telephone wires while bird watching in Houston, Texas. They also like open fields and plains. Recognize this beautiful songbird by the way it spreads its tail feathers in flight, and by its amazing courtship dances. They can be very aggressive during breeding season, and can be distinguished by their crown feathers as well as their very long tails. They also have lovely salmon-pink feathers on their bellies and flanks, as well as under their tails. These songbirds are a soft gray above, with a nearly all-gray head. These flycatchers are common in April through October, and they also nest in Houston, Texas.
Olive-sided Flycatcher. Look for this large, stocky Tyrant Flycatcher while bird watching in the forests of Houston, Texas. You are most likely to see these birds here in May, or from August through October. Identify them from their olive sides, which contrast sharply against their white bellies. They prefer to hang about high in trees, zipping in and out of the branches to catch insects.
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. This is a small bird with a yellow belly, eyering and throat, as well as an overall olive coloring. It has broad, yellow wingbars, too. Look for them in Houston, Texas while bird watching during their spring and fall migrations. These Tyrant Flycatchers are usually sighted in woodland clearings.
Acadian Flycatcher. A small green bird with pale wingbars, look for these flycatchers in the woodlands and beside streams in Houston Texas. Distinguish them from other flycatchers while bird watching from their paler breast and yellowish tail, along with their bright eyering. They are more common in the spring and fall in Houston, Texas.
Alder Flycatcher. Look for these flycatchers while bird watching in the wooded swamps of Houston, Texas. They are very similar to Willow Flycatchers (in fact these two were once considered the same species), and can be distinguished while bird watching from their shorter bills. They also have pale wingbars and distinctive white eyerings, as well as overall gray bodies.
Least Flycatcher. Common during their spring and fall migrations in Houston, Texas, look for these flycatchers in woodland clearings while bird watching. They are brownish olive in coloring, with white wingbars and white eyerings. This is one of the smallest and most common flycatchers you will see while bird watching in Houston, Texas.