Date: 5/26/19 12:39 pm
From: Tom Crabtree <tc...>
Subject: [obol] Re: A break in the weather brought good birds to Black Butte Ranch
Jack, the first empid is a Willow Flycatcher. Note the white throat, large bill with what appears to be a completely orange lower mandible, medium primary projection showing rounded tips, and white undertail coverts. You can see the pale, thin eyering and a light spot between the eye and the bill. It is not a Western Wood Pewee, because your bird doesn’t have extremely long, pointed primaries. Dave Irons wrote a nice article on separating Willow Flycatchers and Western Wood Pewees a few years ago that is helpful. Here’s the link:

Number 2 is hard to determine. It appears to have a long primary projection in the first photo and typical Pewee upright posture. However because it is back lit and underexposed, I can’t really see where the secondaries end and the primaries extend past them. Similarly it is impossible to tell whether the bird has a pale eyering or not. The undertail coverts in the second photo appearing more white than dusky, but that is hard to evaluate because the picture is slightly overexposed. The wing tips look more rounded in the second photo which favors Willow Flycatcher and highlights the problems of trying to ID a difficult species in one photo (recall the discussion of the empids from Malheur last fall). The warm brown tones are usually more associated with Willow Flycatcher than Pewees. It appears that there is a light patch in the lores which would indicate Willow as Pewees should have all dark lores. I am leaning towards Willow Flycatcher, but I think we would need more photos to be confident of an ID either way.

Tom Crabtree, Bend

From: <obol-bounce...> [mailto:<obol-bounce...>] On Behalf Of Jack Williamson
Sent: Saturday, May 25, 2019 6:05 PM
To: OBOL Oregon Birders Online
Subject: [obol] A break in the weather brought good birds to Black Butte Ranch

There was a wonderful assortment of birds this morning on the ranch.


The two Empidonax flycatchers were about 1/2 mile apart. Unfortunately, neither bird vocalized. But both bobbed their tails up first, then down helping me rule out Gray. I noted pale lores, off-white wing bars, olive-gray upperparts, white to yellow-tinged underparts, and a faint eye-ring on the first bird. The second bird's posture was more erect than the first and it was darker overall, with whiter wing bars and had a longer primary-projection. I've tentatively identified the first bird as a WILLOW FLYCATCHER, and the second as a DUSKY FLYCATCHER.

Your thoughts will be appreciated.

Jack Williamson

West Linn, Oregon

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