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Piratic Flycatcher - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 17:30, 22 May 2023 by THEFERN-13145 (talk | contribs) (→‎Similar species)
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Subspecies leucophaius
Photo © by Xyko Paludo
Pilarzinho, Curitiba, PR, Brazil, September 2018
Legatus leucophaius


14·5–17 cm (5¾-6¾ in)
Olive-brown above, long white supercilium, whitish malar bordered by a thin dark streak below.
The bill is short, plain wings with pale edges to the feathers, white throat while the breast has indistinct dark streaks above the pale yellow of the belly.

Similar species

Various species of "streaked" flycatchers look like this. These include: Variegated, some species in the genus Myiodynastes (Streaked, Sulphur-bellied etc), and possibly "Kiskadee-pattern" species like Social Flycatcher. See also identifying similar species.


Subspecies variegatus
Photo © by Andrew S
Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve, Belize, February 1995

Two subspecies share the range from Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago to Bolivia and northern Argentina.

This species is rarely noticed during non-breeding season in Trinidad; it is not completely certain whether this is due to migration or inconspicous behavior. Southernmost populations do migrate north in local winter (e.g., Argentina)



Two subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • L. l. variegatus:
  • L. l. leucophaius:


Borders of humid forests and woodlands, and single trees in clearings, mostly in relative lowland.



It gets its name because it uses the nest another species has prepared; as soon as the nest is finished it starts harassing the original owners, until they give up. ffrench (Birds of Trinidad and Tobago) mentions 9 different genera as hosts; all build domed or enclosed nests. Apparently, Crested Oropendola is the most important species in Trinidad.


Their diet consists of insects such as dragonflies and fruit. It is thought the adults are almost entirely frugivorous.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Sept 2018)

Recommended Citation

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