Piratic Flycatcher arrives

The breeding migrant Piratic Flycatcher (Legatus leucophaeus) has now definitely arrived, a little earlier than in previous years, and its instantly recognisable, frequently repeated and usually two-part call is now part of the morning chorus once again. Its plumage is rather dull, but in general it looks like a small version of the Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher but without any rufous in the tail.


Looks harmless enough, but other nesting birds had better beware!


Instead of building a nest, it harasses the nest of some other species, even tossing out eggs and perhaps nestlings, until the host abandons the site. The Piratic then takes just a few dry leaves, making a pretense of domesticity, and lays its own eggs.

Just listen for the ringing bee-ee call followed by a slight pause and then bidi-didi. My thanks go to Richard Garrigues for both the photo above and the very accurate description of the vocalisation.  My previous earliest arrival date for the Piratic Flycatcher was February 1.

The Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher will not arrive until quite late in February.

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