Behavior as described by del Hoyo et al. (2004):
Social Flycatchers are almost always seen in pairs; however, they are also found in small social groups following the breeding season. Large groups of Social Flycatchers and interspecific species are frequently found at fruiting trees. These groups tend to be incredibly noisy. Social Flycatchers forage at various heights, including the canopy and ground level, but are usually found foraging at the middle levels. Sallying is the most common foraging technique utilized by the Social Flycatcher.
Noise produced from wing-fluttering has been identified as a possible display behavior during the breeding season.
Not thought to be territorial (del Hoyo et al. 2004). Social Flycatcher nests are often found in the same tree or bush as other tyrant flycatchers (del Hoyo et al. 2004).
Pairs of Social Flycatchers raise one brood per year; however, pairs may lay up to five nests per season due to predation (del Hoyo et al. 2004).
Social and interspecific behavior
After the breeding season, Social Flycatchers remain in small, sociable family groups for a short period of time (del Hoyo et al. 2004). Generally, Social Flycatchers are found in pairs and are sometimes found in large interspecific groups (del Hoyo et al. 2004). Social Flycatchers typically forage in large, vocal groups but are also found foraging alone and in pairs (Restall et al. 2006).
In a study conducted on Social Flycatcher breeding ecology in the Republic of Panama, Dyrcz found that Social Flycatcher nests were often preyed upon by other, larger birds (2002). In 1998, 51.5 percent (n=36) of nests lost were lost to predation compared to 76.1 percent (n=53) in 1999 (Dyrcz 2002). Common predators of the Social Flycatcher include the Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus), the Gray Hawk (Buteo nitidus) and the basilisk lizard (Basiliscus basiliscus) (Dyrcz 2002).
In 1998, 21 percent of lost nests had no remains of eggshells or nestlings and in 1999, 78 percent of lost nests had no remains (Dyrcz 2002). Dyrcz’s finding suggests that many nest predators may actually be snakes (2002). While Social Flycatchers frequently build their nests over water to avoid predators, snakes are still able to swim to these nests and raid them (Dyrcz 2002).