7 Sep. 2010 – Least Flycatcher and Common Yellowthroat

I found two unlucky young migrants this morning, a Common Yellowthroat and a Least Flycatcher. Both were hatch year birds with fat scores of 1. The yellowthroat was a male; the sex of the flycatcher is unknown.

While the yellowthroat was easy to identify, the still-warm Empidonax flycatcher presented a challenge. I used Sibley’s Guide to Birds and Kaufman’s Advanced Birding to nail it down.

The bird is small (total length ~ 132 mm or 5.33″) and it has a broad yellow-orange bill with a diffuse dusky tip. It has complete eyerings that do not flare behind the eye. The primary projection is relatively short (0.18 the length of the wing chord). The belly and undertail coverts are a creamy yellowish-white – this area is separated from the grayish-white throat by the olive-gray breast band. All of these features are congruous with Least Flycatcher. The buffy wing bars and tertial edges confirm it as an immature bird. Because this is a new species for the NRC monitoring program, here’s the range map from the Cornell Lab or Ornithology’s All About Birds:

3 thoughts on “7 Sep. 2010 – Least Flycatcher and Common Yellowthroat

  1. I really find this is a great interesting subject. Never looked over this subject in this manner. If you are planning to write some more articles about this subject, I definitely will be back soon!

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