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nevsar

Willow Flycatcher? (From Concord, MA)

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The wingbars are more prominent (and hence ruled out Eastern Phoebe & Eastern Wood-Pewee), and the eye ring is thin (and hence ruled out Least Flycatcher). That leaves me with Willow Flycatcher. Also it was in the right habitat (next to pond/marsh). Of course, it could be an Alder as well. Although it's rare for this time of the year.

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Well, it looks like a Willow, but it also looks like an Alder so I'd probably leave it unIDed since Alders are migrating now. Alders are probably just considered rare since they're not really calling/singing in fall migration so it's impossible to confirm them.

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I'll leave it as Willow/Alder since I'm not 100% sure. However, the probability is much higher for it to be a Willow (there is only 1 report of Alder this month outside Western Mass). On a separate note, I was in Quebec ~2 weeks back, and the Alders were singing away.

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Well in Quebec they're on breeding grounds - they're not likely to be singing when migrating from those grounds. When not singing or calling, they're basically impossible to separate from Willow which is why there's so few records. I will agree that Willow is still probably more likely though.

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Here in Illinois, e-bird reports suggest that Willow is much more common, except for a short stretch during migration. During the summer, I'm sure that's true, but during migration, we have both banding and specimen data that proves Alder is much more common (somewhere around 80% of Traill's specimens at the Field Museum, for instance). So yeah, I wouldn't trust e-bird for distinguishing these two species.

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