Alder and Willow Flycatchers, Field Notes, May 13, 2014

Indigo Bunting, Sourland Mountain Preserve, NJ, May 13, 2014 (photo by Chris Duffek)

Indigo Bunting, Sourland Mountain Preserve, NJ, May 13, 2014 (photo by Chris Duffek)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

Alder Flycatcher is a new arrival at Glenhurst Meadows. Other observations are 13 flyover Common Loons, 23 Solitary Sandpipers (a contining high number) and 16 warbler species (Jeff Ellerbusch).

The Yellow-throated Warbler of Colonial Park is reported again (John J. Collins). This individual is present since April 14 and continues to be observed from Parking Lot A.

A possible sighting of a Mississippi Kite is reported today from the Great Swamp NWR (Jim Mulvey). It was seen flying over the Fenske Vistors Center and out of sight over the neighboring Basking Ridge Country Club (formerly Pennbrook C.C. for the old timers). There are no sightings reported from later in the day.

Alder and Willow Flycatchers

Attention all Morris and Somerset County birders: Alder Flycatchers will be passing through the region in the next few weeks. Please visit the following web sites listed below and study the various songs, calls and variations of Willow and Alder Flycatcher vocalizations. Willow Flycatcher is straightforward but does have turns of phrase that make it sound convincingly like what most people imagine an Alder should sound like and vice versa. In other words, many of the two species’ calls are similar.

In brief, Alder is reported more than it should be, often in habitat it has no business being in, and probably misidentified due to the observer’s unawareness of the subtleties and similarities of the Willow/Alder repertoire. For the sake of accuracy in the mocosocoBirds area, please consider the Traill’s Flycatcher to be a Willow unless it is 100% (not 99.9% or less) unmistakably an Alder.

Following are links to help make you the Willow/Alder Flycatcher expert you desire to be:

From the Macaulay Library of Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Listen to the hundreds of examples in this magnificent archive:

Happy Traill’s!

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2 Responses to Alder and Willow Flycatchers, Field Notes, May 13, 2014

  1. Pingback: Kentucky Warbler, Alder Flycatchers, May 24, 2014 | mocosocoBirds

  2. Pingback: Thursday Bird Notes; Morris Deer Management Schedule, July 10, 2014 | mocosocoBirds

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