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Alder Flycatcher? (1 Viewer)

hamlinjk15u

Well-known member
United States
Been looking through photos and I believe this is the correct ID of this bird, however eBird says it is unreported in my area. It was taken on Fort Campbell, KY, NW of Nashville. Having a look at some range maps, it looks like its completely possible that it could be in this area during breeding season.

Noted are the yellow-green colorings down the back with distinct dark gray and white wings and a flared out tail. White breast with black eyes, slight white ring around the eyes, and what looks to be a black upper bill and orange lower bill.
 

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KenM

Well-known member
Have to presume that the only other Empid range candidate would be Willow (more common thus more likely?), however I wouldn’t like to attempt separation on these images alone .

Cheers
 

Microtus

Maryland USA (he/him)
United States
On what date did you take the photograph? And in what habitat? Alders migrate north into early June. How did you eliminate other species of flycatcher?
 

qwerty5

Well-known member
United States
It is impossible to separate Willow and Alder by sight (unless you are a bird ID super-extreme-expert). Alder does not breed in KY, so it's probably Willow.
 

Tero

Retired
United States
eBird does listings for rather small areas, if they are popular hot spots and lots of birders go there. It would be unusual if someone did not record both birds for that area at some point. Look at the bar charts for that county. But in general, unreported does not mean rare in eBird, it just means nobody went there at that time of year and recorded one. I often end up recording unreported birds. Vey few of them end up flagged as rare
 

hamlinjk15u

Well-known member
United States
On what date did you take the photograph? And in what habitat? Alders migrate north into early June. How did you eliminate other species of flycatcher?

Sorry I should have included that it was taken yesterday, June 18, and the habitat was along a stream/creek in a deciduous forest. I didn't necessarily eliminate the other Empids, its mainly that I have had a quite difficult time telling them apart. I hadn't seen any Willow Flycatchers either at this point, at least most likely not, as I have seen many presumptive Acadians, identified by their calls. Listening to the different calls/songs, I can say I dont distinctively remember hearing any Alder or Willow style calls, with the wheezy-like accents. Always is the "peet-seet" sound. So maybe, in the end, this is simply an Acadian?
 

KenM

Well-known member
Looking at the primary projection, they appear to be half that of the tertials, whereas Acadian’s should be almost equal according to Sibley?

Cheers
 

qwerty5

Well-known member
United States
Sorry I should have included that it was taken yesterday, June 18, and the habitat was along a stream/creek in a deciduous forest. I didn't necessarily eliminate the other Empids, its mainly that I have had a quite difficult time telling them apart. I hadn't seen any Willow Flycatchers either at this point, at least most likely not, as I have seen many presumptive Acadians, identified by their calls. Listening to the different calls/songs, I can say I dont distinctively remember hearing any Alder or Willow style calls, with the wheezy-like accents. Always is the "peet-seet" sound. So maybe, in the end, this is simply an Acadian?
I think it's probably Willow. It's likely it just wasn't calling when you were birding. It has to be Willow or Acadian, since no other Empids breed in your area
 

hamlinjk15u

Well-known member
United States
Looking at the primary projection, they appear to be half that of the tertials, whereas Acadian’s should be almost equal according to Sibley?

Cheers
I see what you mean after looking at Sibley and Stokes guides. I believe that pretty much decides the ID for me (us) at this point.
 

hamlinjk15u

Well-known member
United States
I think it's probably Willow. It's likely it just wasn't calling when you were birding. It has to be Willow or Acadian, since no other Empids breed in your area
I do plan to go back to this area (it was beautiful) this week or over the weekend. Hope to catch it again on such an open and easily photographed area.
 

Jeff Hopkins

Just another...observer
United States
FWIW, the habitat sounds far more Acadian-like than Willow-like. Acadians like streams in the woods while Willows like brushy fields (at least here in PA).

But the bird looks very Willow-like with a negligible eye-ring.
 

hamlinjk15u

Well-known member
United States
FWIW, the habitat sounds far more Acadian-like than Willow-like. Acadians like streams in the woods while Willows like brushy fields (at least here in PA).

But the bird looks very Willow-like with a negligible eye-ring.
I was thinking the first statement as well. Definitely Acadian-like area I was in. But definitely looks more like Willow (and Alder). Wish I had noted the call a bit better
 
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