The Common Tody-Flycatcher (Todirostrum cinereum) is a common, little and smart flycatcher inhabitant of disturbed habitats, easily found in gardens, from southern Mexico to Bolivia and southeast Brazil. It has a characteristic "bicolored" look, with expressive yellow eyes and a constantly-moving black tail with white tips to the feathers.
This bird is one of the very first I saw officially when I started to watch birds. As the older of three brothers, I spend a lot of time with my grandparents who had a little house in the outskirts of Panama City, in the special district of San Miguelito. The house was surrounded by a nice garden with many native trees, ornamental plants and fruiting thickets. I always remember that a pair of these active birds made a nest right in the garden. I spend long hours watching both birds bringing nesting material and then raising youths.
As you can see in the photos, they built hanging, globular nest with a lateral entrance. Notice how close to the house this nest was, you can see the roof in the background.
For such a little bird, it has a powerful voice, and its trilling call is a common voice all over Panama.
For this, and many others reasons is why we chose the Common Tody-Flycatcher as our bird of the month!
1. Angehr G, Dean R. The Birds of Panama. A field guide. 2010
2. Ridgely RS, Gwynne J. A guide to the birds of Panama. 1st spanish edition. 1993