Documentation of Alder Flycatcher

Observer Information

Reporter:  Dean E Shoup  PO Box 470033,   Aurora, CO  80047-0033
Other Observers: 

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Alder Flycatcher
First Date/Time:  5/20/2018 1:40:00 PM
Last Date/Time:  5/21/2018 1:45:00 PM
Duration (total time in view):  5 Minutes
County:  Cheyenne and Cheyenne
Specific Location:  Wild Horse
Number:  1
Age:  Unknown
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Breeding


Cottonwood and mixed vegetation surrounded by agriculture land.

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  Vortex 10x50 Viper HD
Distance:  25 ft
Light:  Sunny, afternoon light. Some clouds.

Description of the Bird

Bird was observed as it flew to a nearby perch.  Empidonax Genus was first identified based on experience and sight of bird.  Bird showed a thin but complete eye ring and long wing projection.  Back coloration was viewed as greenish.  Pale throat and rounded head also noted after reviewing photos.  No calls were given, bird was silent. 

Similar Species Discussion

Eastern Willow was considered as was Dusky.  Dusky was eliminated based on green color of back.  Willow was eliminated based on thin but complete eye ring and long wing projection.  Rounded head bulging near the middle of head not slanted as Willow can appear also supported Alder even though this is considered a soft characteristic and hard to judge based on a few photos.  

Resources Used

I consulted a few experts with many years combined experience in the process of determining the species.  I first checked photos in eBird but was unsatisfied with what I found.  I consulted National Geographic, Complete Birds of North America and also Sibley Second Edition, Second Printing.  I have experience with this genus from reading both Kaufman and Zimmer texts on Empidonax ID. 

Previous Experience

I found, photographed and recorded an Alder Flycatcher(CBRC report submitted) once before.  I have seen the species maybe one other time with an experienced birder identifying it.  In the first mentioned report I studied spectrograms and books determining the species I had recorded.  So this is the second time I have found and determined the ID of the species.  I have been birding frequently for 5 to 9 years and have become familiar with the challenging Empidonax Genus in general.  As each year passes I continue to delve into this methodical process of learning Empidonax ID.  I have gained a basic understanding of the commonly occurring species in CO.  


Review of photos

Materials Available

Photographer: Dean Shoup

Photos |


Date Documentation Submitted

5/21/2018 11:38:00 PM
Click left or right edges of photos to move through all; click outside image to close

Location Map

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