The Amazonian Royal Flycatcher: A flurry of feathers

Amazonian Royal Flycatcher

September 3rd is Amazon Rainforest Day and The Nature Nook/Palm Oil Detective would like to celebrate. The Amazonian Royal Flycatcher is a member of a family of birds called the tyrant flycatchers, which occur throughout North and South America. This is the biggest family of birds in the world, with more than 400 species. As the name implies, the majority of tyrant flycatchers are entirely insectivorous (though they do not necessarily specialise in flies), while the ‘tyrant’ part comes from the noisy, aggressively territorial behaviour of some species in the group.

This particular member of the tyrant flycatcher family is known as the Amazonian royal flycatcher. The most identifiable feature of this species is that incredible fan of feathers on its head. Both sexes possess them: the male’s, as seen above, typically has fiery orange-red feathers, while the female’s are usually yellow.

The Amazonian Royal Flycatcher: A flurry of feathers by Jason at @thenaturenook find more colourful wonders of the Amazon jungle, create art to celebrate species and #Boycott4Wildlife

Most of the time, though, the Amazonian royal flycatcher keeps its crest flat on its head. When it is concealed like this, the flycatcher looks like an ordinary brown little bird. Only when it is displaying or behaving aggressively – such as when it is handled by humans – does the bird’s crown unfurl, revealing that spectacular semi-circle of elongated feathers. The effect is enhanced even more when the flycatcher sways its head and slowly opens and closes its bill to reveal a bright orange mouth.

New investigation in the Amazon documents impact of palm oil plantations on Indigenous communities Mongabay Newscast

Palm oil plantations look likely to become a new cause of deforestation and pollution across the Amazon: though companies say their supply chains are green and sustainable, critics in Brazil–including scientists & federal prosecutors–cite deforestation, chemical pollution, and human rights violations.   Mongabay's Rio-based editor Karla Mendes investigated one such project in Para State and joins us to discuss the findings of her new report, Déjà vu as palm oil industry brings deforestation, pollution to Amazon.   Beside the health toll of chemical sprays on Indigenous people whose land it encroaches, Mendes studied satellite imagery to disprove claims that the company only plants on land that's already been deforested.   Also joining the show are a scientist who's documented contamination of water sources and related health impacts, Sandra Damiani from the University of Brasília, plus a federal prosecutor in the Amazon region, Felício Pontes Júnior, who is trying to hold palm oil companies accountable for polluting Indigenous communities.     Palm oil is used in a huge array of consumer goods sold in most countries–from snacks to ice cream & shampoo—and is a main cause of rainforest loss in Africa and Southeast Asia. Now, the industry sees the Amazon as prime new ground.    Episode artwork: Fresh palm oil fruit, West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo courtesy of Nanang Sujana for CIFOR. Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast wherever they get podcasts, or download our free app in the Apple App Store or in the Google Store to have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips. If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonproft media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at, too, please visit the link above for details. See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay. Feedback is always welcome:
Source: Tom Ambrose

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Published by Palm Oil Detectives

Hi, I’m Palm Oil Detective’s Editor in Chief. Palm Oil Detectives is partly a consumer website about palm oil in products and partly an online community for writers, artists and musicians to showcase their work and express their love for endangered species. I have a strong voice for creatures great and small threatened by deforestation. With our collective power we can shift the greed of the retail industry and influence big palm oil to stop cutting down forests. Be bold! Be courageous! Join me and stand up for the animals with your art and your supermarket choices!

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