• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Red Breasted or Taiga Flycatcher? (1 Viewer)

HokkaidoStu

occasional moderator
Staff member
Supporter
I took these pics almost 2 years ago, late November 2009 in south Hokkaido Japan.

Taiga Flycatcher is a scarce migrant in Japan and had been recently spilt from Red Breasted Flycatcher. I assumed the latter was to the west and the former here in the east. One reader of my blog suggested at the time it may have been a Red Breasted (now a real rarity in Japan) but to be honest they look so similar I couldn't really tell the difference and assumed it was a Taiga Flycatcher and I forgot all about it.

Now a couple of others (on flickr) have suggested once again it may be a Red Breasted.

3 heavily cropped pics are attached. Any opinions gratefully received.......
 

Attachments

  • IMG_4599.JPG
    IMG_4599.JPG
    130.4 KB · Views: 460
  • IMG_4614.JPG
    IMG_4614.JPG
    110.8 KB · Views: 628
  • IMG_4621.JPG
    IMG_4621.JPG
    126.1 KB · Views: 410
Thanks Chris...............

Taiga would be the 'default' species in Japan, like I say some birders more knowledgeable than me had sown the seeds of doubt.
 
IMO the warm buffish hues over the breast, the pale upper tail coverts (perhaps even paler than average RBF?) and pale base to lover mandible, makes this a very likely Red-breasted fly.
 
IMO the warm buffish hues over the breast, the pale upper tail coverts (perhaps even paler than average RBF?) and pale base to lover mandible, makes this a very likely Red-breasted fly.

Also indistinct pale edges on tertials and buff-toned tips to greater coverts are better for Red-breasted.
 
very interesting, it does look promising for RBF. The point noted already by makpe -buff-toned tips to greater coverts - is something that I think is often under-rated as a feature for seperating these two spp. I see a lot of Taiga Flys on my local patch and the greater covert fringing on these birds always looks "cold" in comparison to RBF.

Lower mandible colour is often cited as a good feature but I must admit that I find it a bit unreliable, having seen a few Taiga Flys with a hint of pale base, and I have seen some photos of RBFs with apparently all-dark bills.

Of course the end of the matter will come when you hear the bird call!
 
The point noted already by makpe -buff-toned tips to greater coverts - is something that I think is often under-rated as a feature for seperating these two spp.

Agree

Lower mandible colour is often cited as a good feature but I must admit that I find it a bit unreliable, having seen a few Taiga Flys with a hint of pale base, and I have seen some photos of RBFs with apparently all-dark bills.

Many albicilla show a pale base to lower mandible, but it is generally a rather small pale area restricted to the innermost parts of the bill. I often find it more well defined than in parva (which normally shows a larger and more diffusely set off pale base, frequently with only the tip being dark). In field/photos parva often gives a false impression of having an all dark lower mandible, but this is generally an effect of the light conditions (lower mandible is often i shadow). Some parva bills are indeed a bit darker, but I still find the character quite useful in most individuals (esp. in hand-held birds).
 
Last edited:
Warning! This thread is more than 13 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top