Readers’ wildlife video

Tara Tanaka is back with a wonderful video of a colorful bird, the Vermillion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus). Note the extreme sexual dimorphism!

Be sure to go here to play the video enlarged, and in high definition. Here are Tara’s notes:

I spent a week in Texas in May digiscoping birds, and I spent every minute of the best light with this pair of Vermillion Flycatchers. At first I was just shooting photos and video of the male, and after spending hours with him and watching him interact occasionally with the female, I realized that she was building a nest not far away. It looks like I was right on top of the nest when I was videoing it, but I was using a digiscoping system with an equivalent focal length of 1000mm, and was far enough away to not cause her any stress. First she used twigs, then lichen, and finally I watched in amazement as she brought back spider webs and used them to anchor everything in place. I heard from other birders that this pair had just fledged two juveniles, so this was their second nest of the season.

We left a day early as there were really bad storms headed our way, and we got out ahead of the violent weather and managed to stay just ahead of it all the way home. I emailed the campground host and found out that late on the day we left they were hit with a terrible storm and there were two trees and numerous branches down in the park. The branch she chose for her nest was as protected as it could possibly have been, so I have hope that it survived the storm.

Tara’s Vimeo page is here, and her Flickr page, with both videos and photos, is here.

And here’s the range map from the Cornell bird site:



  1. GBJames
    Posted June 29, 2016 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Lovely little dinosaurs.

    • Posted June 29, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      It’s funny but when I look at them I’ve never thought of dinosaurs, but they certainly are! Every time a Wood Stork flies by the house it’s the first thing that comes to my mind.

  2. rickflick
    Posted June 29, 2016 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Color is fantastic. It’s great that you can film them from such a great distance. Their behavior will be unaffected by human presence.

    • Posted June 29, 2016 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Rick! When I was videoing the nest I would set up the camera and then walk some distance away while it ran.

  3. Heather Hastie
    Posted June 29, 2016 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Beautiful work from all three – evolution, mama bird, and Tara.

  4. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted June 29, 2016 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Stunning beauty and clarity. The photography, editing, and music are woven into harmony, much like the nests being built. Well done!

    • Posted June 29, 2016 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      That is one of most meaningful comments I’ve ever received Mark! Thank you so much!

  5. glenda from Kelowna
    Posted June 29, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Amazing in every way. Thank you. HELP Does anyone recognize the music? I would dearly like to hear more of it.

    • Posted June 29, 2016 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much Glenda! I bought the license to that music on, the song was called “Spanish Blood.”

  6. Posted June 29, 2016 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    That was a superb production. I expected David Attenborough to break in with some narration, “Here in Texas…”

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