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Santa Cruz, California Warber? ID help requested (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Several times over a couple days I saw this bird flying to a beam under my next door neighbors balcony. Eventually, in the late afternoon of 2023-06-30, it flew from the beam and perched in a tree where I was able to take a photo. A couple minutes later it flew back under the balcony, and I was able to take a photo of it sitting there. I wasn't able to see if it was nesting.

Given the color, I was originally thinking it was a goldfinch, but looking in my book, I realized the beak isn't right, and I guessed its more likely to be a warbler. I don't see very many warblers here in California, so I'm not familiar with them and I'm unsure about the ID.


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It's a flycatcher, I'm not going to get any more specific. Except that in and near Santa Cruz, Willow Flycatcher is extremely rare before Aug. 20 and there are no July records, according to eBird. Maybe it's a Pacific-slope Flycatcher, which has just been re-merged with Cordilleran Flycatcher and is once more known as Western Flycatcher; that species is pretty common around Santa Cruz in August and in July and must nest there.
Yes, definitely Western with that tear-drop shaped eyering and yellowish underparts. I recently saw a nest under the eaves of a building in southeast Arizona - very similar to second picture.

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