Gray silky flycatcher

Ptilogonys cinereus

SUBFAMILY

Ptilogonatinae

TAXONOMY

Ptilogonys cinereus Swainson, 1827. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Gray silky; French: Ptilogon cendré German: Grauseidenschnapper; Spanish: Capulinero Gris.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

7.3-8.3 in (18.5-21 cm). Sleek, long-tailed birds with crests and small bills. Male's head, crest, and upperparts blue-gray, with white eye crescents and black wings. Belly white, black tail has bright yellow undertail with a white band. Female head and crest grayish, upperparts, throat, and underparts dusky wine-colored with yellow undertail. Whitish belly. Juvenile resembles female, but belly dull yellow.

DISTRIBUTION

Middle Americas. Throughout Mexico, south into Guatemala at 3,300-11,500 ft (1,000-3,500 m), lower in winter. Documented twice in Texas, sight records for southern Arizona. Also seen in southern California, though may be an escape.

HABITAT

Humid to semi-arid pine-oak and evergreen forest, wanders to adjacent habitats in winter.

BEHAVIOR

Commonly seen in pairs or small flocks; often perches conspicuously atop tall trees; flies high. Call is chattering and nasal: chi-che-rup, che-chep and k-lik, k-li-lik. Song a pleasant, soft, warbled series of clucks with intermittent quiet whistles.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Diet mainly insects, often caught in flight, and fruits and berries. REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Monogamous. Lays two bluish white eggs, speckled and spotted with brown and gray, in cup-like nest of fine plant material and lichen; nests in bushes or trees. Female incubates for 12-14 days, young hatch naked and blind. Nestlings are fed by both parents and fledge in 18-20 days.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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