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