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Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

Sep 8, 2011

Nature's pest control warriors: Olive sided Flycatcher

Olive sided flycatcher in the distance
Many species of birds and other wildlife are beneficial to mankind in a variety of ways.  One very helpful means is the consumption of insects that can be destructive and / or present a health threat to plants, people and other wildlife, if their populations were to soar out of control.  Some species of bird have specialized diets that include specific types of insects, but others birds are not so picky.  These eat a variety of insects such as mosquitoes, flies, beetles, caterpillars, spiders and more.  Of these, some gain sustenance exclusively through the consumption of insects.  The Olive sided flycatcher is one of these species; one of nature's little pest control warriors.

Olive sided flycatcher above
Looking around for prey

The Olive sided flycatcher is a boreal forest bird that consumes mostly flying insects such as flies,bees, ants, moths, and grasshoppers to name a few.  You will find him perched high on a dead branch from which he spots prey and launches himself to capture it.  Small prey is consumed in flight, while larger prey, such as grasshoppers are brought to a perch, where it is bashed against the wood to subdue it.  Like other flycatchers he often returns to the same perch, however, he is the only known flycatcher to use this method of hunting exclusively.
Olive sided flycatcher
Sadly, as a species, the Olive Sided flycatcher is seen less and less often, as their numbers are declining severely, due mostly to winter habitat loss through deforestation, habitat destruction and climate change.  Their numbers have declined by as much as 75% in certain areas in the last forty years.  I was extremely fortunate to capture images of this one.


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