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Flycatcher help please


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#1 hbvol

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 03:50 PM

First guess was E. phoebe but it had white wing bars and there was no tail pumping. Plus it had something of an eye ring.
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#2 psweet

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 04:43 PM

Looks like an Empie, I don't know if I can take it any farther than that.

#3 hbvol

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 04:55 PM

By range, willow or Acadian would be most likely. Any one else??

#4 eripma

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 06:00 PM

I would guess Willow based on range and overall gray/brown appearance. What habitat was it in? Willow usually use more open habitat near water while Acadian reside in deep forests.
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#5 hbvol

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 07:33 PM

I would guess Willow based on range and overall gray/brown appearance. What habitat was it in? Willow usually use more open habitat near water while Acadian reside in deep forests.

it was sitting in a small water oak at the edge of a large field which adjoins a wetland and pond

#6 redrobin99

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 07:51 PM

Could it be a Hammond's Flycatcher ?

#7 Parula

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 08:14 PM

i have seen willow in a swampyish area and acadian in mountains and by rivers

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#8 Joejr14

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 09:20 PM

I should really read things better before posting sometimes. Geesh.

I think since the two look very similar, it'll be tough making a positive ID without hearing the call.

#9 psweet

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 12:35 PM

Redrobin, check the location. To report a Hammond's in East Tennessee you'd probably need a tape recording and the specimen!

#10 SuzanneO

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 07:54 PM

hbvol,
First, I believe you need to hear the voice before a positive ID can be made on most Empids unless range makes things easier. I also think a voice is needed for Eastern/Western Pewee unless range comes to the rescue. That being said, I think your bird could be an Eastern Wood-pewee. The photo is difficult and I can't see the wingtips, but the tail seems long and the stance of the bird seems more pewee-like to me than empid. The empids seem to scrunch down more than pewees. You mentioned no tail pumping--Pewees don't raise their tails--empids do. Do you have any more photos? Maybe one showing the under-tail coverts? Wood-pewees have markings or smudges in that area and the empids are unmarked.
I will post two Wood-pewee shots to show the wing-bars and stance; and an empid.
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#11 cestma

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 08:23 PM

SuzanneO, I second your thoughts. Perhaps because it has been the year of the Eastern Wood Peewee on my property this summer! In addition to your observations about posture and dimensions, my slog through my personal pictures and those of my copious field guides have led me to feel there's one more characteristic that tends to separate the empids from the pewees, and that is the relative proportion of the eye to the rest of the head. Look at enough pics and you start to see that the empids' eyes appear significantly larger with respect to head-size. This shows up well, to me anyway, in your lovely photos.

I concur that these difficult ID's require many threads of evidence, and with any luck at all, many different pictures. The ability to get the bird to call on demand wouldn't hurt, either...
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#12 hbvol

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 03:15 AM

one more pic.
http://www.flickr.co...N05/7594723796/
in the field I thought the wing projection looked too short for a peewee plus I've always been able to see a light-colored lower mandible in peewees around here, but, hey, my level of expertise is pretty dang low.

#13 hbvol

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 03:17 AM

hbvol,
First, I believe you need to hear the voice before a positive ID can be made on most Empids unless range makes things easier. I also think a voice is needed for Eastern/Western Pewee unless range comes to the rescue. That being said, I think your bird could be an Eastern Wood-pewee. The photo is difficult and I can't see the wingtips, but the tail seems long and the stance of the bird seems more pewee-like to me than empid. The empids seem to scrunch down more than pewees. You mentioned no tail pumping--Pewees don't raise their tails--empids do. Do you have any more photos? Maybe one showing the under-tail coverts? Wood-pewees have markings or smudges in that area and the empids are unmarked.
I will post two Wood-pewee shots to show the wing-bars and stance; and an empid.
Sue

comparing to your shots I think mine looks more like the last bird which I assume is the empid

#14 SuzanneO

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 05:39 AM

In addition to your observations about posture and dimensions, my slog through my personal pictures and those of my copious field guides have led me to feel there's one more characteristic that tends to separate the empids from the pewees, and that is the relative proportion of the eye to the rest of the head. Look at enough pics and you start to see that the empids' eyes appear significantly larger with respect to head-size.

Thanks for sharing your observations, I will look for that. I've got a few photos of willow/alder/acadian/pewees I can browse through. I took a bunch and spent hours with these guys last fall. I was unable to positively ID anything but Eastern Wood-pewee; none of them were talking. I dug up several resources that said they didn't vocalize in Panama during fall migration, but they did in spring (although some experienced birders--one from Costa Rica--said they did call in the fall). I never heard a whit or a pep in the fall, but when spring rolled around, I was rewarded with vocalizations and I got them on video. I was able to finally add an Alder and Willow to my life list. I will have one more fall migration here before we leave Panama and I will be happy to see these great little birds again. I am curious as to whether they will vocalize or not.
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#15 SuzanneO

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 05:56 AM

comparing to your shots I think mine looks more like the last bird which I assume is the empid

Hi hb,
I think I can make out longish wings on your last photo; the wing appears to be hanging below the tail (?). I still think it's an E. Pewee, but I could very well be wrong. These guys are tough!
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#16 cestma

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 06:24 AM

Thanks for sharing your observations, I will look for that. I've got a few photos of willow/alder/acadian/pewees I can browse through. I took a bunch and spent hours with these guys last fall. I was unable to positively ID anything but Eastern Wood-pewee; none of them were talking. I dug up several resources that said they didn't vocalize in Panama during fall migration, but they did in spring (although some experienced birders--one from Costa Rica--said they did call in the fall). I never heard a whit or a pep in the fall, but when spring rolled around, I was rewarded with vocalizations and I got them on video. I was able to finally add an Alder and Willow to my life list. I will have one more fall migration here before we leave Panama and I will be happy to see these great little birds again. I am curious as to whether they will vocalize or not.
Sue


Whoa, I hadn't even noticed your location! I shudder to think of all the tyrannids down there! (Actually, I love the tyrant flycatchers, difficult tho they are.)

My pewees have been vocalizing like crazy here (SW MI), lately, and posing wonderfully, so after a hundred or so pics I feel extremely confident about their ID. (By which I only mean "mine," not the one in hbvol's pics.) The empid(s?) not so much. I did finally add the Willow to my list this year, after, like you, many hours (well, years) of trying to put bird & song together. (Thank goodness the Willow has--to me, anyway--the most recognizable call of the likely empids in my area.)
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#17 cestma

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 06:45 AM

hb, have you tried to find this bird again? I often find my flycatchers "hanging out" in the same general area from day to day.

In addition to some of the characters already discussed, my Sibley (Eastern region) has this to say about pewee/empid behavior:


Wood-pewees...choose prominent perch[es] and fly out strongly, usually returning to the same perch. Empidonax flycatchers...generally choose inconspicuous perch[es] and fly out weakly,often returning to [a] different perch.


(pg 258)

(Apologies if the fonts come out all wonky. I'm new to this forum, and having a disagreement with the reply window...)
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#18 SuzanneO

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 06:49 AM

Whoa, I hadn't even noticed your location! I shudder to think of all the tyrannids down there! (Actually, I love the tyrant flycatchers, difficult tho they are.)

My pewees have been vocalizing like crazy here (SW MI), lately, and posing wonderfully, so after a hundred or so pics I feel extremely confident about their ID.

I was a little unclear in my post. I meant the empids weren't talking. The Wood-pewees talked in the spring and the fall. This spring I could hear them echoing in the jungle almost incessantly! I concentrated my efforts on the willow/alder this spring. I hope to nail down an Acadian this fall. Yeah, the flycatchers here are great but frustrating at times. I recently had to ask for ID help on a Yellow-olive. I wasn't sure if it was Yellow-olive or Yellow-margined.

#19 cestma

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 07:04 AM

I was a little unclear in my post. I meant the empids weren't talking. The Wood-pewees talked in the spring and the fall. This spring I could hear them echoing in the jungle almost incessantly! I concentrated my efforts on the willow/alder this spring. I hope to nail down an Acadian this fall. Yeah, the flycatchers here are great but frustrating at times. I recently had to ask for ID help on a Yellow-olive. I wasn't sure if it was Yellow-olive or Yellow-margined.


Oh, no, you were clear. I was just free-associating to my own recent observations. Your last sentence sent me to my Birds of CR book, and its roughly 76 spp of flycatchers, and yes, I can certainly see what you mean. :wacko: You are quite the expert!
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#20 SuzanneO

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 08:12 AM

Oh, no, you were clear. I was just free-associating to my own recent observations. Your last sentence sent me to my Birds of CR book, and its roughly 76 spp of flycatchers, and yes, I can certainly see what you mean. :wacko: You are quite the expert!

Actually, I'm a rank amateur who has been learning about birds while slowy sailing around the planet earth. This is my second year in Panama because I wasn't ready to give up my current 'backyard'. I wasn't ready to leave Australia after being there for two years either, but they wouldn't renew our visas again and booted us out!
Sue




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