Saturday, August 9, 2014

Apparent family group of Olive-sided Flycatchers in mountain area of Colorado

I found an apparent family group of 3-4 Olive-sided Flycatchers on Thursday just southwest of Salida where the coniferous forest was edged by a deciduous riparian area at about 8,000 feet in elevation. There were at least 3 and maybe 4 Olive-sided Flycatchers and to have that many in one location would seem to indicate this was a family. Additional at times more than one of flycatchers perched near each other on a branch of one of the large cottonwood trees. Since it was late in the afternoon the lighting was poor plus the birds either perched high above or at a distance.
The following information from Birds of North America online leaves open the possibility that the birds did not nest in this location: "Fledglings typically observed with adults on territory 10–15 d after fledging, but reported with adults near the nest up to 17 d (Wright 1997) and 19 d (Altman 1999) after fledging. Mearns (1890) suggested that family groups stay together until fall migration, and those nesting in higher elevations move down-slope after breeding season."
The bottom pic show the white feather tufts coming from the bird's lower back, a possible field mark that in this instance was very prominent. Also in that location was a family group of Western Tanagers including at least one fledgling that I observed being fed and a Western Wood-pewee. SeEtta