Hi All,

While working in my home office today, I noticed a flycatcher land on a
partially-shaded branch of an apple tree about 20-25 feet (6-7m) directly
out my window.  At first glance, I noticed wing bars, and thought I saw a
two-colored lower mandible even with my naked eye.  I expected it to be an
Eastern Wood-pewee as one has been hanging around my yard.  However, when I
put up my binoculars, I quickly realized that it was instead an Empid.  It
had a bold, white eye-ring that pinched to a tear-drop behind the eye.  The
overall color of the head and upperside was greenish rather than grayish
brown that you'd see on a Pewee.  Three other things jumped out at me.  The
bill seemed to have a lighter lower mandible and dark upper mandible.  It
also had very long primary projection.  Both of those characteristics
pointed me away from Least Flycatcher, along with a longer-lankier rather
than stubbier overall impression of the bird sitting in front of me.  (I
put down my binoculars.  Picked up my phone.  Fumbled around opening up my
camera, and zoomed it to full mag.  I took two pictures.  Neither show
anything diagnostic even as a bird, let alone field marks on a bird.)  I
picked my binoculars back up, and my last noted characteristic was that it
appeared quite yellow below, from the chin to the belly area.  This could
have been a play on light as it filtered through the apple tree leaves, but
it was quite noticeable.  It sat there for at least 2 minutes until chased
away by the antics of a recently-fledged and 2 adult Gray Catbirds.

I never saw it open its mouth to call, nor did I hear it make any sound.

The markings on the bill, long primary projection, and overall shape helped
me eliminate Least Flycatcher.  The bold eyering, pinched in the rear,
pointed me away from Willow.  Indeed, the overall  green coloration of the
dorsal side pointed me away from either Willow or Alder.  I am kind of left
with Acadian or Yellow-bellowed.  Of those, the ventral coloration matches
best with Yellow-bellied.

Comments and suggestions welcomed.

Jody W. Enck, PhD
Conservation Social Scientist, and
Founder of the Sister Bird Club Network


Cayugabirds-L List Info:

1) http://www.mail-archive.com/cayugabirds-l@cornell.edu/maillist.html
2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds
3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html

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