Bird GuideTyrant FlycatchersPiratic Flycatcher
Piratic Flycatcher
Legatus leucophaius

At a Glance

This tropical flycatcher is strongly migratory, nesting as far north as northeastern Mexico but vacating all of Mexico and Central America during the northern winter. Its migratory tendencies give it the potential to stray out of range; it has occurred several times in New Mexico and Texas and once in Florida, with all records in spring or fall. The name "piratic" comes from its habit of taking over the nests of other birds rather than building its own.
Perching Birds
Low Concern
Forests and Woodlands, Shrublands, Savannas, and Thickets
Direct Flight, Flitter, Hovering

Range & Identification


5 3/4-6 1/2"(14.5-17 cm). Medium-small flycatcher, a very rare visitor from the tropics. Dark brown above, dull yellowish white below, with blurry streaks. Two strong white stripes on face. Smaller and less colorful than Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, with much smaller bill.
About the size of a Sparrow
Wing Shape
Tail Shape
Notched, Rounded, Square-tipped

Songs and Calls

Whistled “whee-whee”. Reportedly silent when encountered outside of native range.

Climate Vulnerability

Conservation Status