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Sunday, August 25, 2013

It's all relative

I heard this species calling as I was walking across the parking lot at work today, knew it was interesting (an uncommon fall migrant on Bodega Head), wanted to document it, but just could not get a decent photo.  The bird was very active and every time I tried to position myself for a photo, it would move further away or to the other side of a shrub.

I'm including these images because they're the first photos I've taken of this species on Bodega Head.


This is a Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii).  Note the indistinct eye-ring and the relatively distinct wing bars.  If this was a video, you'd see the bird flicking its tail regularly.  

The bill is relatively long and the throat is relatively white against the gray breast and belly (see below).


Note that the wings are relatively short.


Because vocalizations are helpful when identifying species within this group of flycatchers, I'm also including two sound clips.  Listen closely for the short "whit" call note.  [If you're receiving this post via e-mail, click on the title of the post above to access the sound clips.]


Here's sound clip 1:

wifl1 by nhbh


And sound clip 2:

wifl2 by nhbh

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