Tuesday, May 31, 2011

'Whit,whit'--Willow Flycatcher

Finally I got an empid flycatcher to call loud enough that I could distinguish the call. I found this bird foraging in the riparian area near the Arkansas River by the Canon City, CO Riverwalk. I have had a number that did not vocalize and a few that called so softly (or at a distance) that I could not be sure I could distinguish it's call from similar ones. Though this empid made a soft 'whit' call, it was clearly a 'whit' that it repeated several times. The bird has a long, broad bill, no discernible eye ring,a distinct peak on rear part of it's crown, white throat that contrasts with grayish brown/olive upperparts, 2 light wing bars and moderate primary projection (eastern bird?)--all characteristics of Willow Flycatchers and the 'whit' call provides confirmation. SeEtta