Date: 9/1/17 5:54 pm From: Tom Crabtree <tc...> Subject: [obol] Re: 2017-08-29 On The Road To Malheur NWR
Your bird is a Willow Flycatcher. Note the massive bill that has an almost entirely light lower mandible; just a hint of an eyering (unlike the large football shaped one that a "Western" Flycatcher would have; and the incredibly short primary projection.
It would be impossible to identify an empid as a "Cordilleran" if it was silent. "Cordilleran" and "Pacific-slope" Flycatchers used to be considered one species, the Western Flycatcher. They are identical except for voice. Most advanced birders in the northwest think they should be re-lumped. Most of these "Western" Flycatchers that have been recorded in Oregon are found to have characteristics of both songs. I have personally heard birds that alternately gave the male position note of both species. Pure "Cordilleran" Flycatchers are incredibly rare in Oregon, if they exist at all. I am told that there is a sharper division between the two in the southern part of their range, like Arizona.
Interestingly, I spent a lot of time birding in the Pullman, WA / Moscow, ID area over the last 7 years. Birders on the Washington side of the line invariably listed the birds they saw as Pacific-slope Flycatchers, while those 7 miles away in Moscow listed theirs as Cordillerans. I would be surprised if these aren't lumped sometime in the next decade.
Tom Crabtree, Bend
-----Original Message----- From: <obol-bounce...> [mailto:<obol-bounce...>] On Behalf Of Jack Daynes Sent: Friday, September 01, 2017 4:18 PM To: undisclosed-recipients: Subject: [obol] 2017-08-29 On The Road To Malheur NWR
Greetings from a traveling nature lover,
There are a lot of images connected with this story, one I could use some help with.
There were two “happy accidents” on my early morning shoot at the visitor center’s pond. One was a Barn Swallow that flew into the frame while working on a Spotted Sandpiper. The other was a Wilson’s Snipe that did likewise when I was working on Mule Deer. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
At the Visitor Center I encountered a small flycatcher, always a challenge for me to identify. Reviewing the images, I’ve called this bird a Cordilleran Flycatcher (Empidonax occidentalis), but if I have the ID right, it would be a bird that failed to read the range maps. Willow Flycatcher would be a better call for the location, but I couldn’t get comfortable making that call. Perhaps someone with better skills than me could shed some light.
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