Ash-throated Flycatcher

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I was very pleased the other day to capture an image of an Ash-throated Flycatcher. These birds favor trees and brushy vegetation, often in the vicinity of a stream or creek. I was riding as a passenger in a friend’s car through a desert canyon about an hour’s drive north of Tucson when I caught a flash of motion in a tree. The bird was on the driver’s side. We stopped, I jumped out, and got just a couple of images before the flycatcher disappeared.

I consider this species, and its very close cousin, the Brown-crested Flycatcher, to be a sign of spring and summer. Ash-throated Flycatchers are listed as year-round residents of a narrow strip of southern Arizona near the Mexican border and seasonal (spring/summer) residents throughout the rest of our state. I’ve only seen these birds in the Tucson area during the hot months, so I think of these birds as seasonal residents only.

Photographing Ash-throated Flycatchers can be a rewarding experience but also somewhat frustrating. They are very pretty birds, as I think that this image reveals. However, getting a clear shot at one is a matter of luck, because these flycatchers love to hide in vegetation. I often have the experience with Ash-throated Flycatchers of watching one pop in and out of clear view but never linger in the open long enough so that I can make an image. Consequently, I’m very pleased that I got this one.

Image made with a Canon R5, Canon RF 100-500mm f4.5-7.1 IS L zoom lens, M setting (auto ISO), ISO 800, f7.1 @ 1/2000, +2/3 stop exposure compensation.

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