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Pewee or fly catcher? (1 Viewer)

cdbird19

Member
Spotted in Estes Park, Colorado. I can't figure this one out. I think it's either a Western Wood-Pewee or a Dusky flycatcher, one I have on my life list, one I don't. It could possibly be a few other Flycatcher species as well.

Going off the Merlin app, the description points to both. For the Pewee, it states "usually seen on a high perch as it watches for prey, then sallies out to snatch insects. After these short flights, it often (but not always) returns to the same perch." It was definitely doing that, even while I was running a table saw nearby (50 feet tops). Plus I figured it was a Pewee as my first impression, partly because of the very slight tuft the Pewee seems to have.

For the Dusky Flycatcher, Merlin mentions a yellow wash on the belly, which I noticed, but was rather subtle. You can see it in the photos, but I think a combination of the phone, scope, and background makes it look more yellow heavy that it really was. It also only made a quick cheep rather than the more complex calls mentioned about the Pewee.
 

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cdbird19

Member
More. I have some video but too big to upload here, I'll have to upload to YouTube or something.
 

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Jeff Hopkins

Just another...observer
United States
It's definitely an empidonax flycatcher, but beyond that I can't help you. I'm not very familiar with the western empids.

And just for the record, a pewee is a kind of flycatcher.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
I suspected one of the Western Fly species due to the shape of the eye-ring, and using your second photo, Merlin came up with Cordilleran and Hammonds as the two top choices. I therefore suspect Cordilleran, but wait for more expert opinions.

Niels
 

cdbird19

Member
Took those pictures yesterday, figured I'd take another look at the same spot for a better look and of course he's (they're actually, there are 2-3 at least) back. They're more olive than I initially thought, but only very subtly. Any other features I should look for?
 

coltrv

Active member
Based off of the eye ring, yellowish color, and location, my guess is Cordilleran Flycatcher.

Only one species of pewee is normally found in Colorado, and it has virtually no eye ring.

I’m nowhere near expert, so correct me if I’m wrong.
 
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cdbird19

Member
True, virtually no eyeing on the Pewee, so that's out (That's what was the one on my life list so something new then).
And the pictures are a little deceptive, there was barely any color except for the yellow mostly on the lower breast and maybe a tinge of olive on the back so I'm leaning toward the Hammond's flycatcher. Partly also because the cheep call sounded fuller like the recording on the Merlin app for the Hammond's, where the cordilleran sounded smaller and thinner. Maybe I'm putting too much into the recordings that were made by different people with different equipment, etc. Thoughts on that?
 
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Birdbrain22

Well-known member
Definitely NOT a Peewee here. That eye ring with the rear extension, the shaggy crest and range of Colorado make this a Cordilleran FC for me.
 

rkj

Well-known member
I think the dull yellowish tinge to the throat and size of the bill rule out Dusky and Hammond's Flycatchers, both of which have grayer throats and smaller bills, and make this (in Colorado) a Cordilleran Flycatcher.
 

cdbird19

Member
A couple more shots from Saturday for good measure. I saw them again on the same branch on Sunday. I'm going with Cordilleran. Thanks guys.
 

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Jeff Hopkins

Just another...observer
United States
I'm gonna stick my neck out and say Cordilleran, too. I believe Hammond's has a bill with a dark tip and the belly is too yellow for Dusky.
 

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