Skip to main content
Select Source:

flycatcher

flycatcher, common name for various members of the Old World family Muscicapidae, insectivorous songbirds including the kingbirds, phoebes, and pewees. Flycatchers vary in color from drab to brilliant, as in the crested monarch and paradise flycatchers of Asia and Africa. The New World family Tyrannidae (tyrant flycatchers), includes 365 species distributed over the Americas from the Canadian tree limit to Patagonia. Most are arboreal and inconspicuously colored in olive-green, brown, or gray, the species grading into one another almost imperceptibly. They range in length from 31/2 in. to 16 in. (8.7–40 cm), the majority being under 10 in. (25 cm). Flycatchers have large heads, broad shoulders, flattish bills, pointed wings, and small, weak legs and feet. The tails are rounded or shallowly forked, except for that of the scissor-tailed flycatcher of the SW United States, a gray bird with black wings and tail and reddish patches at the wing base, whose long (7–10 in./17.5–25 cm), deeply forked tail enables it to perform aerial acrobatics. Flycatchers characteristically feed by darting after insects from an advantageous perch; the name tyrant reflects their pugnacity toward crows, hawks, and other large birds, which they harass with great determination. Their crown feathers are more or less erectile; in the royal flycatcher of Mexico and Brazil, Pyrocephalus rubineus Mexicanus, also called vermilion flycatcher, they are developed into a flaming crest. Many flycatchers are found near water, e.g., the eastern phoebe, or water pewee (Sayiornis fusca), a gray bird named for its plaintive, repetitive call and identifiable by its habit of flicking or bobbing its tail while perched. The wood pewee, genus Contopus, is a shy forest bird. The Say's, black, and San Jose phoebes are Western species. The 9-in. (22.5 cm) eastern kingbird is typical of the kingbird group; it has a dark back, white breast, and white-tipped tail. Kingbirds are also called bee martins, though they actually prefer other insects. The small (under 6 in./15 cm) empidonax flycatchers are all olive-green and are difficult to distinguish; they include the least, Acadian, and alder (or Traill's) flycatchers of the East and the western, Hammond's, Wright's, and vermilion flycatchers of the West. The South American kiskadee dives for fish like a kingfisher. The nesting habits of flycatchers vary; the typical nest is an open cup in a tree, but some nest on buildings and in concealed places, and the great crested flycatcher of E North America is a cavity-nester that habitually lines its nest with cast snake skins. Certain fly-catching warblers, belonging to a different family, are sometimes called flycatchers. Flycatchers are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeres, families Muscicapidae and Tyrannidae.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"flycatcher." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"flycatcher." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/flycatcher

"flycatcher." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/flycatcher

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

flycatcher

fly·catch·er / ˈflīˌkachər; -ˌkechər/ • n. a bird that catches flying insects, esp. in short flights from a perch. Old World flycatchers belong to the families Muscicapidae and Monarchidae. Most New World species belong to the family Tyrannidae ( tyrant flycatchers).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"flycatcher." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"flycatcher." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/flycatcher-0

"flycatcher." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved September 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/flycatcher-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

flycatcher

flycatcher Any of several small birds of the order Passeriformes, found worldwide, that catch insects in midflight. The Tyrannidae (tyrant flycatchers) includes the kingbird.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"flycatcher." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"flycatcher." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/flycatcher

"flycatcher." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/flycatcher

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

flycatcher

flycatchercatcher, dacha, focaccia, patcher, scratcher, snatcher, stature, thatcher •facture, fracture, manufacture •capture, enrapture, rapture •flycatcher • oystercatcher •archer, departure, kwacha, marcher, starcher, viscacha •pasture •etcher, fetcher, fletcher, lecher, sketcher, stretcher •conjecture, lecture •sepulture •denture, misadventure, peradventure •divesture, gesture, vesture •texture • architecture • nature •magistrature •bleacher, creature, feature, headteacher, Katowice, Nietzsche, preacher, screecher, teacher •schoolteacher •ditcher, hitcher, pitcher, stitcher, twitcher •Chibcha •picture, stricture •filcher • simcha •cincture, tincture •scripture •admixture, commixture, fixture, intermixture, mixture •expenditure • forfeiture •discomfiture • garniture •primogeniture, progeniture •miniature • furniture • temperature •portraiture • literature •divestiture, vestiture

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"flycatcher." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"flycatcher." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/flycatcher

"flycatcher." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved September 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/flycatcher

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.