Published On: Thu, Mar 8th, 2018

New bird species spotted on the island during count in March

rare bird1WILLEMSTAD - During the field day for the Curaçao bird count in March, a so-called vermilion flycatcher was spotted for the first time. That is again a new species on the bird species list of the island.

This bird is so rare on the islands that the only other record we have is from the 1950's where an immature male was spotted on the island of Aruba. Afterwards, it was never spotted again on the islands of Aruba, Bonaire or Curacao. What you see is an adult male, in pristine feathers recently moulted, in its bright red breeding plumage. Females are a dull brown with a pinkish belly.

Vermilion flycatchers are insect eaters and will eat flies, butterflies, bees, grasshoppers, beetles and other insects. If the prey is large they will slam rare birdit against a trunk of a tree and then swallow it hole.

Vermilion flycatchers live in North, Central and South America. Seeing its coloring this one presumably came over from the mainland of Venezuela, It is unclear why it decided to fly over. And maybe they have been around every year during spring migration, but we just never encountered them.

By Michelle da Costa-Gomez

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