Puerto Rican Flycatcher (Myiarchus antillarum)

Puerto Rican Flycatcher


The Puerto Rican flycatcher (Myiarchus antillarum) is a tyrant flycatcher endemic to the Puerto Rican archipelago and one of the 22 species belonging to the genus Myiarchus of the family Tyrannidae.

Distribution And Habitat

The Puerto Rican Flycatcher is a common endemic species in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (Oberle 2018, Raffaele 1989a), a fairly common resident in Vieques (Gemmill 2015), and rare in Culebra (Raffaele 1989a). It is common in wooded habitats from mangrove edges, arid scrub, coffee plantations, mogotes, and montane forests except at the higher elevations (Oberle 2018, Raffaele 1989a). The atlas fieldwork yielded a total of 518 records within 302 hexagons or 63 percent of the 479 total hexagons (see map). Of the 302 hexagons where this species was found, breeding met the atlas definition of confirmed in 9 percent (27) of the hexagons, probable in 21 percent (63), and possible in 70 percent (210), while it was observed in 1 percent (2) of the hexagons but without evidence of breeding (see map and table). Puerto Rican Flycatcher distribution. The map shows the highest breeding code by hexagon and overlaying the ecological life zones in Puerto Rico. Note: percentages may not total 100 due to rounding.

Puerto Rican Flycatcher Distribution

Breeding Habits

Previously published reports indicate that the Puerto Rican Flycatcher nests from February to July in tree cavities (Oberle 2018). Atlas results indicate that the breeding season for this species extends throughout the year, but breeding activity 207Puerto Rican Flycatcher/Juí de Puerto Ricoincreases from March to June, with a peak in May (see chart). This seasonal pattern of breeding appears to coincide in each of the life zones with no evidence to suggest breeding times differ among the life zones. Results show that the Puerto Rican Flycatcher breeds in all ecological life zones, but most breeding activity was reported within the subtropical moist, subtropical wet, and subtropical dry forest life zones (55 percent, 23, and 21 percent of the hexagons, respectively) (see table and map). Breeding was confirmed in several hexagons located in the interior mountains in the west and the southwest coast of the island (see map).


Although the Puerto Rican Flycatchers overall population is believed to be declining owing to a combination of natural and anthropogenic habitat loss within its distribution range (BirdlLife International 2016), this species is listed as a species of least concern by the IUCN (BirdLife International 2016). Locally, this species is not listed in any of the threatened categories of PRDNER and USFWS. It is unknown if Puerto Rican Flycatcher populations are limited by cavity availability as the fl ycatcher does not make its own cavities for nesting and hence is dependent on abandoned woodpecker cavities or cavities resulting from natural decay of tree trunks and branches. In Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rican Flycatcher has a protected habitat in land of about 13 percent (910 km2) of the total area covered by the hexagons where evidence of breeding was found for this species (7223 km2).