Piratic FlycatcherLegatus leucophaius

Tom Friedel/VIREO
Piratic Flycatcher
Piratic Flycatcher


5 3/4-6 1/2” (14.5-17 cm). A smallish flycatcher whose best distinguishing mark is its streaked breast. This species is much smaller than the Sulphur-bellied, the only native flycatcher with a streaked breast, and somewhat smaller than the Variegated, another vagrant to consider.


Whistled “whee-whee”. Reportedly silent when encountered outside of native range.


Forests and woodland, clearings with some tall trees still present.


Breeds from east-central Mexico south to southern Brazil and northern Argentina, winters in northern and central South America. Both the northernmost and southernmost breeding populations appear to migrate closer to the central part of the range.


Accidental vagrant across the southern tier of the United States from Florida to New Mexico. Outside of southern Arizona, where the Sulphur-bellied is native, any streak-bellied flycatcher is unexpected in North America. The three possible species are distinguished by size and pattern. The Piratic Flycatcher’s name comes from its habit of using other small birds’ nests, evicting the owner if necessary.


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