The Ash-throated Flycatcher has a call like a whistle being blown, and it always catches my attention. Usually, the noisy flycatcher is perched at the top of a shrub or on a low branch where it watches for passing insects. I’ve seen them launch from such a perch and dart and dodge through the air in pursuit of some bug that is flying for its life. In addition to insects and spiders, this flycatcher enjoys cactus fruits and mistletoe berries. With all of these juicy items to eat, this arid-adapted bird has no need for water.
Ash-throated Flycatchers are cavity nesters, but they don’t have the equipment to create their own cavities. As secondary nesters, they move into holes made by other birds, in saguaros, fence posts, dead stalks of agaves and yucca plants, old Cactus Wren nests, and even pipes, mailboxes, and reportedly clothes left out on a clothesline. Inside the cavity the pair builds a platform of grasses, twigs and rootlets and then a cozy cup nest of fur and feathers for their eggs. The beautiful eggs are creamy white with purple and olive markings. Ash-throated Flycatchers raise one to two broods of up to seven young.