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Documentation of Alder Flycatcher

Observer Information

Reporter:  David Dowell 
Other Observers: 

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Alder Flycatcher
First Date/Time:  5/18/2016 5:40:00 PM
Last Date/Time:  5/18/2016 6:00:00 PM
Duration (total time in view):  20 minutes
County:  Kit Carson
Specific Location:  Flagler Reservoir State Wildlife Area
Number:  1
Age:  Adult
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Other/Unknown


bushes and trees along seasonal stream south of lake

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  binoculars, camera
Distance:  as close as 20 feet
Light:  sunny; bird seen in both full sun and shade

Description of the Bird

The bird, obviously an empidonax flycatcher, was found moving from perch to perch low in the trees and bushes along a seasonal stream, which was flowing at the time.  For a minute or so, the bird was in the same tree as a Least Flycatcher, and the bird of interest did appear larger.  Other characteristics I noted were wide, straight-sided tail; olive-colored back; large bill; long primary projection; and complete, narrow eyering.

Thinking the bird was an Alder Flycatcher, I continued to observe the bird for about 20 minutes, hoping the bird would call, and it did.  The call, heard four times, was the "peep" call of Alder Flycatcher.

Similar Species Discussion

The "peep" call eliminates similar-looking Willow and Acadian Flycatchers.  Willow can be eliminated by visible characteristics, too, because it would have an indistinct eyering and a more brownish back.

Resources Used

Sibley Guide to Birds

Previous Experience

Exerience observing empids since 2012.  Previous experience observing several Alder Flycatchers in spring 2015.


Notes made DURING observation

Additional Information

Date Documentation Submitted

11/28/2016 3:25:00 PM

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