The Derby Flycatcher Near Los Angeles
The Derby Flycatcher near Los Angeles
On September 4, 1926, a phone message from Inglewood announced that a “yellow-bellied kingfisher” had been killed at a cemetery there. Investigation disclosed the fact that a Derby Flycatcher (Pitangus sulphuratus derbianus) had been taken while apparently trying to catch fish in the goldfish pond where Belted Kingfishers had caused much trouble. Its actions, kingfisher-like appearance, and swoops toward the water, from a perch in the tules, were its undoing.
The bird was a female, in full molt. Dissection showed an empty stomach. Dr. H. C. Oberholser, who identified it, suggested that it had probably worked northward from Sinaloa, Mexico, its nearest normal habitat. This appears to be the first record of the species for the United States outside of extreme southern Texas.
The fish-catching habit of Pitangus is noted by Hudson, as also by Grayson who says he has “often seen them plunge into the water after large insects and small fish.”
L. E. Wyman
Los Angeles Museum, Los Angeles, November 9, 1926