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Flycatcher Species--Possibly Eastern Wood Pewee?--John Heinz Wildlife Refuge, Philadelphia, PA (1 Viewer)

anonymousbirder

Well-known member
United States
Hi,
I saw a flycatcher today at John Heinz Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia, PA. I think it's an Eastern Wood Pewee, but I would appreciate if someone could confirm or deny that. I'm afraid I'm not that great at distinguishing flycatchers. I've seen a pewee before, but I was able to distinguish it by the noise it made, whereas this one didn't make any sound.
This bird was between the size of a sparrow and a robin. According to Merlin, it could be an Acadian flycatcher or a willow flycatcher, too. It was perched by a marsh, but the marsh has wooded areas around it. What makes me lean toward an Eastern wood pewee is that I didn't see the olive-greenish color that Willow and Acadian flycatchers are supposed to have. I know the pictures are a bit blurry. Sorry about that. I have a set of camera binoculars, but sometimes quality is hit or miss. However, if anyone could help me narrow this down, I would be grateful.

6_26_21_Mystery_Bird_B.JPG 6_26_21_Mystery_Bird_A.JPG 6_26_21_Mystery_Bird_C.JPG 6_26_21_Mystery_Bird_D.JPG 6_26_21_Mystery_Bird_E.JPG 6_26_21_Mystery_Bird_F.JPG 6_26_21_Mystery_Bird_G.JPG 6_26_21_Mystery_Bird_H.JPG
 

qwerty5

Well-known member
United States
I'm conflicted on this one. In some of the pics it looks like a pewee, other photos look more like an Empid. The yellowish belly makes me lean towards empidonax. The last 2 pictures look like there may be an eye-ring, but I can't tell for sure.
 

anonymousbirder

Well-known member
United States
I'm conflicted on this one. In some of the pics it looks like a pewee, other photos look more like an Empid. The yellowish belly makes me lean towards empidonax. The last 2 pictures look like there may be an eye-ring, but I can't tell for sure.
I didn't note an eye ring, but I also wasn't looking for one. I'm afraid I don't see many flycatchers, so I didn't think to check. The belly looked white to grayish in the field, but I could be wrong. Thank you for your input!
 

AveryBartels

Well-known member
Primary projection (distance wing tips extend beyond rest of wing) seems short for a pewee and the apparently clean whitish underparts (lacking any hints of dusky flanks/breast) are more suggestive of an Empidonax as well. Beyond that, I don't think that there is enough in these photos to confirm Acadian vs Willow although habitat should help. Acadian are more of a forest bird whereas Willow tend to be in more shrubby areas/forest edge, typically near wetlands.

As to the orange on the lower mandible, all three species in question have this so not overly useful.
 

anonymousbirder

Well-known member
United States
Primary projection (distance wing tips extend beyond rest of wing) seems short for a pewee and the apparently clean whitish underparts (lacking any hints of dusky flanks/breast) are more suggestive of an Empidonax as well. Beyond that, I don't think that there is enough in these photos to confirm Acadian vs Willow although habitat should help. Acadian are more of a forest bird whereas Willow tend to be in more shrubby areas/forest edge, typically near wetlands.

As to the orange on the lower mandible, all three species in question have this so not overly useful.
Thank you!
 

Jeff Hopkins

Just another...observer
United States
Willow is more commonly posted in eBird. If it was along the impoundment, Willow is the better fit. I don't see the habitat at Tinicum as being typical for Acadian either.
 

birdmeister

Well-known member
United States
Willow is more commonly posted in eBird. If it was along the impoundment, Willow is the better fit. I don't see the habitat at Tinicum as being typical for Acadian either.
I think it's Willow too (my first opinion looking at pics), especially given the OP's comment about not seeing greenish coloration, etc.

Worth noting, though, that Acadian is a summer resident along part of the wooded loop trail.
 

anonymousbirder

Well-known member
United States
Willow is more commonly posted in eBird. If it was along the impoundment, Willow is the better fit. I don't see the habitat at Tinicum as being typical for Acadian either.
I think it's Willow too (my first opinion looking at pics), especially given the OP's comment about not seeing greenish coloration, etc.

Worth noting, though, that Acadian is a summer resident along part of the wooded loop trail.
Thank you! Judging by your responses, I take it you're both familiar with the refuge. Isn't it beautiful there?
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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