Why you want one of these birds in your yard

December 11, 2014, 12 p.m.

The Pacific-slope flycatcher, Empidonax difficilis, is found along the western edges of North America. It is just one species of flycatcher, a kind of bird that you should consider one of your best friends. The Pacific-slop flycatcher sits on a perch until a fly or insect buzzes by, then it chases it down with ease. It also eats other insects, like the isopod in this bird's mouth. But flycatchers are great for keeping down the number of gnats, mosquites and other pesky insects that you'd rather not have swirrling around your picnic table. There are at least 36 species of flycatcher in North America alone, so no matter where you are, there's probably one of these little birds around, helping you keep the bugs at bay.

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