Documentation of Alder Flycatcher

Observer Information

Reporter:  David Dowell  3721 Staghorn Dr,   Longmont, CO  80503
Other Observers:  Bill Kaempfer

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Alder Flycatcher
First Date/Time:  5/24/2015 4:45:00 PM
Last Date/Time:  5/25/2015 8:00:00 AM
Duration (total time in view):  20 minutes
County:  Phillips
Specific Location:  Holyoke
Number:  2
Age:  Adult
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Other/Unknown


bushes and trees along small stream

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  binoculars, camera
Distance:  as close as 40 feet
Light:  cloudy initially, then sunny

Description of the Bird

At the Lion's Club "Fishin' Hole" on the east side of Holyoke, the birds, quickly identified as empids, were taking low perches in willows, bushes, and trees near a small stream.  At times, the birds chased each other around.  Visible characteristics were large bill (relative to other empids) with entirely pale underside, complete but narrow eyering, olive-colored back, white wingbars, longish primary projection, and wide and straight-sided tail.  Each bird called "peep" multiple times.  One of the birds sang "rreeBEEa" twice.

Similar Species Discussion

The species list was narrowed down to Alder, Willow, and Acadian Flycatchers based on the large bill, long primaries, and broad tail.  Willow was eliminated because it would have a poorly defined eyering instead.  The "peep" call heard from both birds eliminates Willow and Acadian.  (As described by Sibley, this "peep" call was reminiscent of a single call note by an Olive-sided Flycatcher.)

Resources Used

Sibley Guide to Birds

Previous Experience

I have been observing empids since I started birding in 2012, and continue to find them challenging.  This was my second time to observe Alder Flycatcher.  Also, I had spent time in previous weeks learning empid calls and songs from recordings on


Notes made DURING observation

Date Documentation Submitted

11/27/2016 7:53:00 PM
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Location Map

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