Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 9-2000

Common name:

Least Flycatcher

Scientific name: Empidonax minimus
Date: 24 Sept 2000
Time: 10:00
Length of time observed: 3 min
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: ?
Location: Lyttle Ranch, Beaver Dam Wash
County: Washington
Distance to bird: 7 m
Optical equipment:  
Weather: 70 F, clear, 3-10 mph wind
Light Conditions: clear sky and sun relatively high
Detailed description of bird: Small, large-headed Empidonax. Bold white eye-ring of even width around eye (i.e. not teardrop shaped). Wingbars white, but relatively narrow due to extremely worn plumage. Bill very short, but not exceptionally narrow. White throat and mostly white throughout underparts w/ very faint yellowish tint on belly. Primary projection intermediate - not exceptionally short or long.
Song or call & method of delivery: No vocalization
Behavior: Bird was foraging by making frequent short flights through foliage, gleaning stationary insects while in flight. First observed at ~5 m above the ground.
Habitat: Cottonwoods in the bottom of (Beaver Dam) wash.
Similar species and
how were they eliminated:
Because of distinctly short bill, Hammond's & Dusky Flycatchers were considered. Hammond's Flycatcher eliminated as candidate b/c of very warn plumage on observed bird (Hammond's molts before migration and thus shows fresh plumage at this time of year.) Dusky Flycatcher eliminated because it lacks the large-headed look of Least. Dusky Flycatcher also has a very narrow bill, which is different from the bird observed. & Cordilleran Flycatcher also.
Previous experience with this & similar species: Extensive experience w/ this species in eastern U.S. & considerable experience w/ western Empidonax species, especially Dusky Flycatcher & Cordilleran Flycatcher.
References consulted: NGS Field Guide (3rd ed.), Kaufman 1990 (Advanced Birding)
Description from: Notes taken at time of sighting
Observer: Robert Dobbs
Observer's address: 234 E. Cobble Creek Dr. #4, Cedar City, Utah  84720
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified
this bird:
Date prepared: 14 Oct 2000
Additional material:  

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