Checklist S60914114

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Owner Maili Waters

Other participating eBirders
Traveling
  • 3
  • 1 mi
Checklist Comments

Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.9.9

Observations

  1. Number observed: 35
  2. Number observed: 3
  3. Number observed: 1
  4. Number observed: 2
  5. Number observed: 3
  6. Number observed: 1
  7. Number observed: 2
  8. Number observed: 1

    Details: ***Mega. First state record, with one previous record of a “Western” Flycatcher banded at Manomet on 11/10/2006. There are 5-10 other records of flycatchers identified to this species in the northeast US, and another 5-10 “western” flycatchers. As far as I’m aware, no Cordilleran has ever been recorded on the east coast.

    Joe Oliverio photographed an interesting Empidonax flycatcher on 10/23/2019, which he sent to Larry Therrien. Larry searched for the bird on 10/24 and heard an interesting vocalization that sounded like a “Western” Flycatcher, although never got a visual. This morning, Maili Waters relocated the flycatcher visually at 07:30. I got on it soon after her and called a group of birders over, including Peter Trimble, who saw it briefly, and then it disappeared with a group of Yellow-rumped Warblers and kinglets of both species. After about 20 minutes of staring into empty thickets, we decided to investigate further into the thicket along the river. About 200 feet downriver, we encountered the flock again, and sure enough the flycatcher was present giving the high-pitched tseep vocalization. We alerted the others, and upon their arrival the bird started giving the pseeweet calls. The calls were loud and clear, so much so that the arriving enclave thought we were using playback. Eventually several more people got on it, including Joe, Larry Therrien, David Sibley, Mary McKitrick, Marshall Iliff, and Scott Surner.

    Immediately the bird was recognized as an Empidonax due to the upright posture, thick wingbars, and eyering. Furthermore, the overall color, including the throat, was olive and yellow. The eyering was complete and bulging at the rear. These features indicated a Yellow-bellied or “Western” (Pacific-slope/Cordilleran Flycatcher). A bushy crest that seemed to be split in the rear was evident, and the eyering came to a fine point in the rear rather than being somewhat rounded as on Yellow-bellied. Later views showed the coverts and primaries were tinged brownish rather than the deep black of a Yellow-bellied, a character used by Pyle (1997). These features together strongly suggested the visual identification as a “Western” Flycatcher.

    The bird called quite consistently all morning after we tracked it down. The most consistent call was the sharp, high-pitched “tseet” (sounded like a “ting” to me in the field). The bird gave “pseweet” calls many times as well, perhaps 25 or more. Field listening and spectrograms reveal the pseweet call begins with a quickly rising upslurred whistle (difference of 1-2 kHz from start to end), which sharply levels off and continues as a longer, slightly descending whistle, and finally another upslurred whistle (increase >2kHz).

    This monosyllabic call, composed of two rising notes connected by the slurred bridge are classic for the “male position call” of the Pacific-slope Flycatcher. Cordilleran Flycatchers typically give a bisyllabic vocalization, broken into two upslurred notes. These two “pweet” notes have no bridging in between them. Some Cordillerans may give monosyllabic position calls (two rising, connected upslurs) similar to the Pacific-slope position calls. However, those lack the harsh “kink,” as noted by Pipelow (2011). The “kink” in this flycatcher’s call is the harsh asymptote immediately following the first rising “pweet” or upslur. Instead, monosyllabic Cordilleran calls have a smooth transition between the two upslurs. Pipelow states that species identification is warranted after careful review of spectrograms.

    Media:
  9. flycatcher sp. (Tyrannidae sp.)

    Number observed: 0

    Details: (continued here due to character limit exceeded)

    The American Ornithological Society currently recognizes the western population of the “Western” Flycatcher as a full species, the Pacific-slope Flycatcher. Rush et al. (2009) document introgression between Pacific-slope and Cordilleran, yet suggest allopatric populations are distinct and may be unaffected by introgression. I am submitting this record as Pacific-slope since this bird repeatedly gave monosyllabic and kinked calls, which are consistent with individuals from Pacific-slope populations and inconsistent with those of the Cordilleran population.

    References cited

    Pipelow, N. 2011. The “Western” Flycatcher Problem. http://earbirding.com/blog/archives/2996

    Pyle, P. 1997. Identification guide to North American birds: Part I, Columbidae to Ploceidae. Slate Creek Press: Bolinas, California.

    Rush, A. C., R. J. Cannings, D. E. Irwin. 2009. Analysis of multilocus DNA reveals hybridization in a contact zone between Empidonax flycatchers. Journal of Avian Biology 40:614-624.

  10. Number observed: 1

    Details: Late. Calling.

  11. Number observed: 8
  12. Number observed: 2
  13. Number observed: 2
  14. Number observed: 3
  15. Number observed: 4
  16. Number observed: 2
  17. Number observed: 4
  18. Number observed: 1
  19. Number observed: 2
  20. Number observed: 60
  21. Number observed: 1
  22. Number observed: 25
  23. Number observed: 5
  24. Number observed: 3
  25. Number observed: 2
  26. Number observed: 1
  27. Number observed: 30
  28. Number observed: 7
  29. Number observed: 2
  30. Number observed: 40
  31. Number observed: 10
  32. Number observed: 15
  33. blackbird sp.

    Number observed: 100
  34. Number observed: 30
  35. Number observed: 6
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