Ash-throated FlycatcherMyiarchus cinerascens

Greg Lasley/VIREO
Rolf Nussbaumer/VIREO
Greg Lasley/VIREO
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Ash-throated Flycatcher


8" (20 cm). Dull olive above, yellowish below. Like Brown-crested Flycatcher (and Great Crested, Myiarchus crinitus, of the East), but smaller and less colorful; back browner, throat and breast grayish white.


Purreeeer, similar to call of Brown-crested Flycatcher but softer. Also a soft ka-brick.


calls #1
calls #4
calls #3
dawn song


Deserts with cactus and mesquite thickets; also dry woods.


Breeds from Washington and Wyoming south to southwestern United States, east to Texas. Rare on Atlantic Coast in late fall, when it is the only Myiarchus likely to occur. Winters in southern California and Arizona southward.


The Ash-throated Flycatcher lives in the hottest, driest parts of the West, but is also found farther north in dry, shady, open woodlands. These birds launch their pursuit of insects from the dead upper branches of mature trees at the edges of woods. Trunk rot in these trees creates cavities useful as nesting sites. Open nests would be too exposed in the sparse foliage of this dry habitat, transitional between woodland and open range. Although this flycatcher has become a hole-breeder, it still builds a nest and has streaked, camouflaged eggs like its open-nesting ancestors.


4 or 5 brown-spotted, creamy-white eggs in a nest lined with vegetable fibers in a tree or a cactus hole.

Similar Species


Greater Pewee

7-7 3/4" (18-20 cm). Large-headed flycatcher with slight crest. Olive-brown above, slightly lighter below. Small light gray throat patch, yellow lower mandible, and indistinct wing bars.


Great Crested Flycatcher

9" (23 cm). Slightly crested. Brown above, with gray throat, yellow belly, rufous wings and tail, and pale brown at base of lower mandible.


Brown-crested Flycatcher

9 1/2" (24 cm). A large flycatcher, olive above and yellow below, with cinnamon in wings and tail.


Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher

7 1/2 -8 1/2" (19-22 cm). A large, heavily streaked flycatcher. Upperparts buff-brown with brown streaks; underparts yellow with blackish streaks.


Couch's Kingbird

8 1/2" (22 cm). Bright yellow underparts, olive back, and dark patch through eye. Slightly forked brown tail without white.


Tropical Kingbird

8-9 1/2" (20-24 cm). Resembles Western Kingbird. Gray head, olive back, and brown notched tail with no white. White throat and bright yellow upper breast, belly, and undertail coverts.


Cassin's Kingbird

8-9" (20-23 cm). Similar to Western Kingbird but darker, back more olive-gray, black tail lightly white-tipped but lacking white margins.


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