Immature Male Vermilion Flycatcher
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What species of bird is this? At first glance this bird doesn’t look like anything in the field guides.
I believe he’s an immature male Vermilion Flycatcher, most likely a bird that is entering his second year. I photographed him about a week ago on a tree overlooking one of the ponds at Sweetwater Wetlands. As is very typical of his species, he was relatively unintimidated by my presence and he allowed me to photograph him for a few seconds before he flew off.
Adult male Vermilion Flycatchers are a brilliant scarlet with dark brown accents. This bird obviously doesn’t approach that, but the bright orange-red feathers on his breast and the top of his head are a broad hint of things to come. Look also at his underbelly and you’ll see plenty of orange-red feathers there as well. My guess is that he is one or two plumage molts away from attaining the spectacular colors of an adult bird. He’s pretty spectacular in his own right, come to think of it.
Image made with a Canon 5Diii, 400 DO, aperture priority setting, ISO 800, f6.3 @ 1/2000.