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Myiozetetes Flycatcher- but which one?

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Old Monday 22nd August 2005, 22:38   #1
Perakito
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Question Myiozetetes Flycatcher- but which one?

Every summer I go to the Andes of Venezeula (the state of Merida), and I see tons of birds, many of which I am able to identify (if over a while). However, these Myiozetetes flycatchers I keep seeing have me stumped. I'm not sure if I'm seeing both Rusty-margined (cayanensis) and Social (similis), or if I'm seeing one or the other. Whenever I try to ID one, I end up running into some characteristics from one species, and some from another- for example, I've seen several individuals with both red-orange crests and rusty wing-edgings. Another problem is that they all have VERY wide black strips acros their eye and cheek- much wider than showed in the new Birds of Venezuela book.
I'll try to put the pictures in my gallery... but I haven't figured out how to do that yet. It appears to be lacking a simple sort of "add" option...
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Old Monday 22nd August 2005, 23:21   #2
Rasmus Boegh
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Welcome to BF!

... while I am unable to give you an ID from above description (both are common in the Merida region) I just thought I'd add a few things:

1) VOICE. The voices of the two are very different and often very useful as they tend to be rather noisy (esp. Social).
2) Rufous edging to the flight feathers (proximal primaries & distal secondaries) is useful, but be warned that juv. Social have rufous in the wing, too! However, juv. Social's tend to show rather distinct pale edging to the coverts (more distinct that in ad. Rusty-margined).
3) Crown patch is useful, but can be a bit difficult for anyone with limited experiance in these species. Quite simply because the different sometimes is less distinct than indicated in books. Still, the main rule is orange-yellowish in Rufous-margined and orange-red in Social (juv's of both species lack the crown patch completely).
4) Blackness of the mask. The mask of Rusty-margined tends to be blacker than the mask of Social which often appear more dusky (but be warned that light can cheat and this feature only should be used as an indication of an ID). Note that this mask is very broad in both the Rusty-margined and the Social, so what you've seen is the norm.

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Old Monday 22nd August 2005, 23:32   #3
Rasmus Boegh
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Just seen your photos:

The first is almost certainly a Social:

1) http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/...cat/500/page/1

The following is possibly a heavily worn Rusty-margined, but I wouldn't like to say anything for certain from that photo [EDIT: Looking at it again I'll be more inclined to calling it another Social, but still not certain from that photo]:

2) http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/...cat/500/page/1

Last edited by Rasmus Boegh : Monday 22nd August 2005 at 23:40. Reason: edit
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Old Monday 22nd August 2005, 23:38   #4
Perakito
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oops- I forgot the sounds

Sorry, I forgot to mention the sounds, and I now have the pictures in my gallery- they are the only ones there.
Ok, if I remember correctly, mostly they would just do a long peeeeeeer- but very liquid in quality. Occaisionally (maybe 2-3 times a day), they would gather into groups of 3-4 and start doing more complicated, yet similar calls which tended to blend together- but I think each one only called once. I cant remember the exact calls, and didnt think to write it down. However, I did find a little note to myself saying "In every way rufous-margineds, except orange-tinged crown stripe and lighter face patches"- and I think I wrote that down after listening to one and comparing it in the book. The book describes the Rufous-margineds greeting as an excited TU-U-REE, which I vaguely recall. However, the book also says that is done over and over, while the ones I observed did it only once.
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Old Tuesday 23rd August 2005, 00:11   #5
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I have other pics of the same bird; if you tell me what you want to be looking at I can see if I can find one that'll show it well
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Old Tuesday 23rd August 2005, 00:55   #6
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Hi, Perakito! I see these are your first posts, so a warm welcome to you on behalf of all of us on staff here at BirdForum!

Afraid I can't help at all with your ID questions, but you're hearing from one of BF's experts, Rasmus. Look forward to your participation here.
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Old Tuesday 23rd August 2005, 02:38   #7
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Thanks Rasmus and Katy for your welcome and aid- I hope I can finally sort out all the messes I got tangled in this summer!
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Old Tuesday 23rd August 2005, 09:39   #8
Rasmus Boegh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perakito
Ok, if I remember correctly, mostly they would just do a long peeeeeeer- but very liquid in quality. Occaisionally (maybe 2-3 times a day), they would gather into groups of 3-4 and start doing more complicated, yet similar calls which tended to blend together- but I think each one only called once.
The first rather liquid long "peeeeeer-" is a near perfect description of the typical call of the Rusty-margined. The group gatherings you mention are more difficult to assign to one species. If the calls basically had the same quality as the first call then yes, probably a group of Rusty-margined, but if it had a more "rusty" quality and appeared more rolling (be warned: I am absolutely terrible at describing bird calls!) it is more likely to have been a group of Social's (BTW; they're not exactly "social" birds, whoever gave them the English name must have had a good laugh afterwards!). Indeed, if you've spend a fair amount of time birding in the Merida region you quite probably have seen both species. When trying to separate these species from photos I certainly prefer photos that show the primaries/secondaries well (i.e. head on photos are virtually useless - best are photos diagonally from behind or from the side). If you've got other photos you wish to post regarding these ID's, you might want to post them in this thread, making it easier to check them fast when reading through a thread.
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Old Tuesday 23rd August 2005, 14:43   #9
Perakito
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Sorry, but the one I posted was the one with the clearest shot of the wing as well... we never could get those in the camera while in another position.
As for the sounds, definitely a rolling quality, which always reminded me of the Yellow-bellied Elaenia pair we had in the garden there...
I might mention that the pictures are taken in two different places in the Andes; the first, just above the city of Merida (1840m), where I dont remember ever hearing any sounds from them (they weren't very common- you wouldn't see them every day), and the second at about 1000m, in the town of Torondoy- which tended to have more "tropical" birds like Crimson-backed Tanagers and Oropendolas, etc. Torondoy was the place where I observed the sounds and realized, after looking at the range maps, that no, these did not include White-bearded Flycatchers. Torondoy is in the north west corner of Merida, and you can see Lago Maracaibo in the distance.
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