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Pictorial Highlights, Early Fall 2011

August-September Flycatchers 2011

The empidonax flycatchers begin moving through western Pennsylvania in high numbers in August and continue through much of September.  Most of the adults move through quickly in August and many migration stations miss them completely.  Identifying flycatchers can be difficult for both birders and banders.  Here are some helpful pointers.     

lefl A hatching-year Least Flycatcher.  This is the smallest of the empids and can be identified by its relatively distinct (and oval) eyering, small bill, white throat, dark gray/black legs, and emargination of primary 6 (see photo below).
ybfl This hatching-year Yellow-bellied Flycatcher can be identified by it overall yellow appearance (through the throat), small bill, steeply sloped forehead, and slight emargination on primary 6 (usually).  
acfl This after-hatching-year Acadian Flycatcher has a large bill, long wing, white throat, lack of emargination on primary 6, light gray legs, and pale yellow coloration to the mouth lining (see below). 
trfl The Trail's Flycatcher has an indistinct eye ring, dark gray legs, lack emargination on primary 6, and has a yellow-orange mouth lining.
acfl The pale yellow mouth lining of the Acadian Flycatcher. 
trfl The yellow-orange mouth lining of the Trail's Flycatcher.
   
An after-hatching-year Trail's Flycatcher.  Adult TRFL undergoes the pre-basic molt on the wintering grounds.  Adults can be readily identified by their white wing bars and wear on the feather tips.  
   
trfl The outstretched wing of the Trail's Flycatcher.  The outermost primary (top of the photo) is number 10.  Notice the lack of emargination on P6.  Be careful to identify the right feather as P7-P10 do show emargination.
lefl wing Here you will see the emargination on P6 in the Least Flycatcher.
   
A hatching-year Eastern Wood Pewee.  The buffy tips to many of the coverts and body feathers identifies it as a HY bird.  For banders, peewees can be identified by their short tarsus and long wings.
gcfl A hatching-year Great-crested Flycatcher.  This bird can be identified as a HY by the molt limits among the greater coverts (or the limit among the median coverts).  Only one GCFL was banded at Powdermill in 2011.
A fall warbler update will be coming soon!  

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