Date: 11/17/20 2:08 pm
From: Joseph Neal <joeneal...>
Subject: Fork-tailed Flycatcher subspecies
I have been enjoying the reports of what I think will be the second Fork-tailed Flycatcher record for Arkansas. I thought some might be interested in what I have pasted below. It is from a project, never completed, begun with late Doug James and Kim Smith. The following was prepared in 2012:

ďThe only occurrence of this tropical bird in Arkansas was from 14-17 January 1995 along Highway 154 approximately 5 miles west of Pontoon, Yell County (AAS No. 867, photograph). It was seen by many but the documentation form was prepared by William Shepherd accompanied by Brantly Buck, Ragan Sutterfield, and Jeremy Davis. This species strays across eastern North America, a result of migrants overshooting South America described by McCaskie and Patten (1994). Most of the strays are the subspecies T. s. savana that nests in southern South America and reach mainly eastern USA in late summer and fall when migration should be not northward, but southward to nest. Ridgley and Tutor (1994) also commented on northward "overshooting austral migrants." These strange misdirected flights have been massive in Columbia and Venezuela (Hilty and Brown 1986, Hilty 2002). Inspecting photographs of the Arkansas bird obtained by Charles Mills, both Van Remsen and Steve Cardiff at the Museum of Natural Science, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, agreed that the Arkansas subspecies is T. s. rnonachus (pers. comm.), which nests in Middle America. Its subpopulation in Mexico migrates southward in winter. The strays observed in Texas also are T. s. rnonachus and are present in winter (McCaskie and Patten, 1994) as in the case of the January record in Arkansas. Individuals of this race have wandered northward in winter in opposition to the expected autumn migratory direction southward.Ē

I donít know if any of this applies to the current bird, but Iíll bet there are some really great photographs of it, so perhaps the discussion about subspecies can continue.


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