Thursday, September 8, 2011

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

I wrote in a previous blog that this flycatcher's short breeding season makes this migrant a late in the spring and early in the fall. This year has been an exception--I missed it this spring and August passed without my seeing it this fall. I banded this Yellow-bellied Flycartcher on 7 September 2011. An exception among the hard-to-identify Empidonax flycatchers, the Yellow-bellied is told relatively easily by its greenish back and yellowish throat and belly. I mentioned in my previous post the difficulty in photographing the subtleties of these colors.

Despite these features, this species is hard to see. The colors blend into the muskeg forests in which they breed and the Central American rainforests where they winter. Gross and Lowther (2011) claim that this flycatcher is "one of the continent's most overlooked birds." The authors warn, futhermore, that its "soft voice is easily confused with that of other species." 

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