Significance to humans

Tyrant flycatchers do not pose any danger or particular usefulness to humans, nor have they been significant in art or myth. As insect foragers, they may inconspicuously play a role in keeping in check populations of insects that humans consider to be pests. At one time species that prey on bees were thought to be among the causes of a dangerous decline in bee populations. However, it has been shown that these species do not eat enough bees to be considered a serious threat, particularly when compared to the damage that parasitic mites wreak on bee colonies.

Since many tyrannid genera include species that are visually indistinguishable, this family provides challenging identification tasks to birders. Many species require that vocalization and nest-building behavior are considered before identification can be confirmed.

1. Hammond's flycatcher (Empidonax hammondii); 2. Sulphur-bellied flycatcher (Myiodynastes luteiventris); 3. Nutting's flycatcher (Myiarchus nut-tingi); 4. Great crested flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus); 5. Greater pewee (Contopus pertinax); 6. Western wood-pewee (Contopus sordidulus); 7. Eastern phoebe (Sayornis phoebe); 8. Say's phoebe (Sayornis saya). (Illustration by Wendy Baker)

1. Willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii); 2. Northern beardless-tyrannulet (Camptostoma imberbe); 3. Scissor-tailed flycatcher (Tyrannus forficata); 4. Olive-sided flycatcher (Contopus borealis); 5. Western kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis); 6. Vermillion flycatcher (Pyocephalus rubinus); 7. Rose-throated becard (Pachyramphus aglaiae); 8. Great kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus). (Illustration by Wendy Baker)

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