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Ash-throated flycatcher        Images © Mark A. Chappell

The ash-throated flycatcher is a common summer resident in much of the western US; it's a somewhat smaller and paler version of the eastern great crested flycatcher and the southwestern brown-crested flycatcher.   Like the latter species, ash-throats have yellowish bellies, short rounded crests, and rusty-red color in the tail and flight fleathers.   They perch in conspicuous places and fly out to grab insects, both in the air and on the ground.   Like many flycatchers, ash-throats are often aggressive to other birds.  I took these pictures in desert scrub near a riparian area at Big Morongo Reserve or in the nearby Joshua Tree National Park in the California desert; one bird was perched in an Encelia bush on an overcast day in Two Trees Canyon in Riverside, California and the bird immediately below at left was near Palm Desert, California.

  • Canon 10D, 1D Mk. II, 1D3, 1D4, 7D2, or 5D4; 500 mm f4 IS lens or 800 mm IS lens; 1.4X or 2X converters, fill-in flash (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2015-2017)