Ducky Flycatcher (two photos)
Empidonax wrightii

flycatcher

flycatcher
Dusky Flycatchers at Garr Ranch on Antelope Island © Carol Davis, 8-31-06

I posted these flycatchers in a grouping of four as a quiz for the Utah birding
community and received the following responses.  All these postings contain
valuable information for IDing flycatchers.  Responses as of  9-2-06:

I'm in the Dusky camp on all photos. This is a really long-tailed Empid with a stubby primary projection. The bill is mostly dark and a bit larger than I would expect for a Hammond's. All those points are good for a Dusky. The lower mandible should be noticeably more yellow for a Gray as well.

No chance for me that this is a Cordilleran--head shape is wrong, tail is too long, eyering isn't the pronounced teardrop shape, even the color, which should be brownish-olive tinged with yellow for a Cordilleran.
-----


All the photos show a first fall Dusky Flycatcher.
-----


My guess 1, 2 & 3 are Dusky's. #4 is Gray (longer bill).
-----

Cordilleran Flycatcher
.  We saw a couple on the Western Birding Symposium. That tear drop is the give away.

-----

I think they are all reasonable candidates for Dusky Flycatchers.

------

They all look like Dusky Flycatchers
to me - the bill is too long for Hammond's and too narrow for Willow or Cordilleran. The tail length and short primary extension are both good for Dusky. Gray should have more yellow on the lower mandible.

------

I think all your flycatchers are Dusky/Hammond's-olive back, gray head, bold eye ring, grayish underparts.  On #1 the extensively pale bill is better for Dusky.  A better mark is the condition of the plumage-Dusky doesn't molt before migrating but Hammond's does.  So the ratty looking plumage in #2 supports Dusky.  In #3 I can't really tell if the plumage is old but the primary projection looks short for Hammond's.  #4 has short primaries and a long spatulate tail (wider at the bottom than the top) which is typical of Dusky and not Hammond's.  Hammond's looks relatively shorter tailed, possibly due to the longer primary projection.  All have bills that are a bit large for Hammond's and right for Dusky.  So I think all your birds are Duskys.
-----

Empids are always a toughie, even with great photos like these. The birds is a large billed empid, narrowing it to Cordilleran and Gray, for this time of year and this location.  Although I may be wrong and the fact that I don't have a lot of time to look it over, I would say the first 3 images are likely of a Gray Flycatcher, while the 4th one may be a Gray or even a Dusky The jizz isn't right for Cordilleran on any of the birds, at least for me.  I would lean towards Gray on bird 4 cause the bill just seems to large.
If I had to say how sure I was, I would give the old 87.667777777% sure of the bird ID.

Home - Utah Wings

Other Home - Amazing Nature