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Boat-billed Flycatcher – Reflections of the Natural World

  • Scientific Name: Megarynchus pitangua
  • Name in Spanish (Mexico): Luis Pico Grueso
  • Name in Mayan: X takay
  • ABA 4-Letter Bird Code: BBFL
  • Family: Tyrannidae – Tyrant Flycatchers
  • Order: Paseriformes – Perching Birds
Boat-billed Flycatcher Image © Jim Gain

About this Bird

The Boat-billed Flycatcher (Megarynchus pitangua) is a species of bird found in Belize and other parts of Central and South America. As its name suggests, it has a distinctive broad and flattened bill that is shaped like a boat, which it uses to catch insects in flight. The Boat-billed Flycatcher is a medium-sized bird, typically measuring around 20 centimeters (8″) in length, and has a dark grey or brownish-grey body with a yellowish belly and a black crest on its head.

Boat-billed Flycatcher Image © Jim Gain

In Belize, the Boat-billed Flycatcher is found in a variety of habitats including forests, woodlands, and scrublands, and is a resident species, meaning it is present year-round. It is known to be an opportunistic feeder, feeding on a wide range of insects, fruits, and even small vertebrates such as lizards and frogs.

Boat-billed Flycatcher Image © Jim Gain

During the breeding season, which typically occurs between March and August, the Boat-billed Flycatcher constructs a cup-shaped nest out of grasses and other plant materials, which it lines with feathers and spider webs. The female lays 2-4 eggs, which are incubated by both parents for around 16-18 days, after which the chicks hatch and are cared for by both parents until they fledge at around 15-16 days old.

>> Next Post on Tuesday, 4/18/2023 – Black-throated Green Warbler

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