Field Notes: Texas Flycatchers

Wonderful information on birds!

Wickersham's Conscience

This post is for WC’s friend, Nils Warnock, a consummate birder. He has forgotten more about birds and birding than WC will ever learn. He has carte blanc to correct all of WC’s errors.

To misquote Calvin and Hobbs, there are about a bazillion flycatchers. Among the Tyrannidae, the New World’s Tyrant Flycatchers alone, there are 425 species spread across 101 genera. Many of them, especially the 15 members of the genus Empidonax, look pretty much the same, and some can only be distinguished by subtle behavioral cues or vocalizations. If at all. So this blog post, which WC thinks features three different Empids, offers uncertain identifications. So it goes.

Probable Cordilleran Flycatcher, Cave Creek Canyon, Arizona

We’ll start with one of the “easier” Empids. The Cordilleran Flycatcher used to be the Western Flycatcher, but that species was split into the Cordilleran and Pacific Slope Flycatchers a…

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