Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Fork-tailed Flycatcher - Tyrannus savana
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General Comments The Fork-tailed Flycatcher's normal range is in Central and South America, but it is famous for vagrancy; thankfully, it is found regularly (perhaps annually) in the eastern United States. There are six records in the state, all but one from the Coastal Plain and all with photographs. One was seen by numerous birders at Cedar Point (Carteret) from 1-7 Jun 1986* [Chat 52:54 link]. One was seen several times traveling north on the Outer Banks on 4 Nov 2001* -- first at Pea Island, then at Bodie Island, and finally late in the day at Nags Head [Chat 66:4 link], [Chat 66:74 link]. One prominently displaying its yellow crown patch was seen for a few minutes by three birders near Wagram (Scotland) on 25 Apr 2011* [Chat 75:32 link], [Chat 76:3 link] (photo on the Carolina Bird Club website). Another was found at the southern end of Ocracoke Island (Hyde) on 29 Jun 2020* [Chat 84:129 link]. One was seen at Run Hill State Natural Area (Dare) on 26 Sep 2023 [Chat 88:16 link]; this report is currently being reviewed by the NC BRC. The first Piedmont record came in 2022, seemingly courtesy of a hurricane (Ian); it was photographed at Lake Crabtree (Wake) on 1 Oct 2022* [Chat 87:15 link].
Breeding Status Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank SA
Global Rank G5
Coastal Plain Five records (see above).
Piedmont One record (see above).
Mountains No records.
Finding Tips
Attribution LeGrand[2024-02-10], LeGrand[2023-05-16], LeGrand[2023-03-24]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.