Tiny Moments: Flies and Fruits

You may have seen me, Greg Homer, along with a whole bunch of other folks sitting and standing along the highway lately…between the Pina Colina gate and the Las Cruces bus stop.


There is a very special tree leaning out over the highway and it is just full of fruit; aguacatillos, to be exact. These fruits (little avocados) are very desirable to many different kinds of birds. The larger variety of aguacatillo fruit found up in the cloud forests is often a good place to fine the Resplendent Quetzal.

The aguacatillo tree in question is just FULL of small (about the size of a green Skittle) fruits. And so…many of us have been camped out in front of this tree to view the feeding frenzy. A wonderfully diverse birding experience.

By far, the most common bird family feeding on these aguacatillo fruits are the Flycatchers (pecho amarillos). Flycatchers are challenging to identify; due to the great number of species and the similarity of their markings.

Bird watching at this aguacatillo tree has been a wonderful classroom; an invaluable opportunity to differentiate many of the flycatcher species. Subtle differences between:

*Streaked Flycatcher and Supher-bellied Flycatcher

*Social Flycatcher and Gray-capped Flycatcher

*Great Kiskadee and Boat-billed Flycatcher

*Piratic Flycatcher and Streaked or Sulpher-bellied Flycatcher

Somewhat of a paradox, eh? Flycatchers gorging of little avocados.

A good lesson for all us perhaps. Eat a varied and well-balanced diet.

Aquacatillo tree in fruit. Photo courtesy of Greg Homer.