Verification of Unusual
Rec. # 2014-021
|Scientific name:||Empidonax flaviventris|
|Length of time observed:||10 minutes|
|Location:||Garr Ranch, Antelope Island|
|Distance to bird:||3m|
|Optical equipment:||Nikon 10x50 Binoculars|
|Description: Size of bird:||Small passerine-5.5in|
|(Description:) Basic Shape:||Small erect Tyrant Flycatcher|
|(Description:) Overall Pattern:||Very yellowish overall|
|(Description:) Bill Type:||Short,broad based,bi-colored|
Field Marks and
Small Empidonax Flycatcher. Very yellowish throat and breast, short but broad
based bi-colored bill, round head with no crest, round complete eyering. Dark
wings and tertials with contrasting buff edges. Fairly long primary projection.
|Song or call & method of delivery:||None heard|
|Behavior:||Perched low in a small tree, most of the time we watched it was preening, but did do some sallying,returning to a different perch, then went high up into the top of tall tree and we lost it.|
|Habitat:||Ranch house on the shore of the Great Salt Lake, with many cultivated planted trees and a spring. Know migrant trap.|
were they eliminated:
We all know Empids are very challenging birds to
ID, however because I have several species on my BBS routes, I've been involved
in greater study of them over the past few years trying to get the most accurate
data possible. Migrants are even more challenging because we lose one of the
easiest ways to ID them, their songs. Never the less if one is familiar enough
with them I do believe it is possible to ID most migrant Empids, as long as you
get a good look at the bird. In this case we got great looks as the bird was
very preoccupied with preening at very close range. But lets go over all the
other expected species and compare them with the bird in question
Willow Flycatcher-Quickly and easily eliminated as a possibility because of the prominent eyering. Also Willows are larger, have a whitish throat,longer bill and duller overall color.
Gray Flycatcher-Quickly and easily eliminated as a possibility because of the yellowish color, Grays are very dull overall, also their bill is longer, and primary projection shorter.
Dusky Flycatcher-These can be rather yellowish, but generally have a grayish throat. Also their bill, although usually orange at the base of the lower mandible, is usually dark at the tip,unlike this bird. Also their primary projection is shorter.
Hammond's Flycatcher-Often very yellowish on the belly,with a greenish back, and longer primary projections, but usually have a grayish throat,and a tiny mostly dark bill,unlike this bird.
Least Flycatcher-This species has become fairly common the past few years in Utah, and I'm now rather familiar with it. It has a similar shaped eyering and bill length/color, but much duller colored plumage,especially having a contrasting white throat unlike this bird. Also their Primary Projection much shorter.
"Western" Flycatcher(Cordilleran/Pacific-slope)-This is probably the most difficult bird to eliminate as a possibility, however I am very familiar with Cordilleran,as they are the most abundant species on my BBS routes, and this bird lacked many characteristics of that species. Specifically, the head was very round with no hint of a crest at any angle or behavior, unlike a COFL. The bill was very short and broad based, unlike the longer narrower based bill of a COFL, The eyering was complete, unlike a COFL which is usually lacking on the top, and very round,unlike the almond shaped eyering of a COFL, plus it lacked the long extension at the rear of the eyering,like a COFL. Also the back of the wings and tertials was very blackish,with contrasting buffy edges,unlike the duller back of a COFL. Overall this bird just lacked the GISS of a COFL.
Acadian Flycather-This is another Eastern species that would be very out of range here(no state record I'm aware of), but should be ruled out as well. I am unfamiliar with this species, but from what I gather from the guide books, it is larger, with a longer bill, and much paler below than this bird, and has a longer primary projection.
this & similar species:
|Yes, saw one at the same location last year. The UBRC did not accept that record, for reasons not communicated to me.|
'The Sibley Guide to Birds'D.A. Sibley 2014. 'Yellow-bellied and
"Western" Flycatchers' M.Heindel,P. Pyle(article)Birders
Journal-Vol.8 No.2 April-May 1999
|Description from:||From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting|
|Observer's address:||688 East 700 South #105, SLC, UT 84102|
|Observer's e-mail address:||**|
|Other observers who independently identified this bird:||Matt Pendleton|