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Unknown Flycatcher - Trinidad (trinidad & tobago) (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Hi we have seen this flycatcher recently in the Tortuga cocoa estates of Gran Couva, Trinidad and it is not a local species. The closest thing we could think of was Tropical pewee (not that) or a Northern scrub flycatcher and it is either- wrong environment for the northern scrub and different shape, jizz and plumage from either local species.

It responded continuosuly to playback calls of the Adler and Acadian flycatcher.


Video is here with it making these short pip calls in response:
On the face of it it didn't look like empidonax. However, I can see hints of a double tawny wing bar so perhaps it is one but with a very abnormal aspect. Are there any photos showing the wings?

(I couldn't find any other obvious matches. It looks somewhat like some other flycatchers/tyrannulets but without clarity.)
Doesn't look so far off for an Empidonax, such as Acadian, for me. Wing bars and bill look right, the light color and angle may be making the throat and belly look different.
Small head, longer tail - this feels more like a pewee to me than an empidonax. Certainly not Acadian with that short primary projection. It's a curious one, more photos would certainly be helpful.
These are a few of the better photos I managed to get of it. The light was not great (at least where it kept perching)


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Elaenia crossed my mind as well but the bill just seems to chunky/broad. Interestingly, the last new image shows an apparent 3rd wing bar in the lesser coverts...not sure what to make of that
I thought elaenia too on seeing these new pics. Forest does/can have the third bar. Also streaks on chest. I think we have a winner !
I thought elaenia too on seeing these new pics. Forest does/can have the third bar. Also streaks on chest. I think we have a winner !
Hmm, I'm still very much not convinced based on that bill. Another point against Forest Elaenia is that the face appears in all pics to be completely plain whereas Forest has a short pale supercilium and dark lores/eyeline. This appears to be variable in extent but I'm nots seeing any ebird pics (filtered for T&T) that show no facial markings. If we're going to disregard the bill, Northern Scrub would be a better candidate imho due to the plain face and the fact that they also have the third wingbar.
I disagree that it's a Forest elaenia - I (and the birder who found this bird originally) have a lot of experience with that species. See attached of what FE look like. The jizz is wrong and there is no central eyeline through/breaking the eye ring. As said above too the bill is wrong.

Northern Scrub was my first guess when I was showed the bird (before I saw it myself) but a few things go against it. The location is wrong (it has never been reported in montane forest where this bird was), but more importantly the jizz and plumage is also off and the shape of head. It also lacks the broken eye ring/eyeline also seen in those, and NSFC have all dark bills. The second photo attached is a typical northern scrub FC here.

FE and NSFC do tend to look a like but ths bird doesn't look like either, and I would more go with a "weird" Pewee than those two.


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Looking in one of my books, I came across Slaty Elaenia. Young males described as having brownish wing bars and yellow belly ... Occurs in Venezuela not too far from Trinidad.

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