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Sunday, May 27, 2018

WILLOW FLYCATCHER, COLONEL SAMUEL SMITH PARK, TORONTO, ON, 5/26/18

   Although the Empidonax flycatchers (particularly the Willow Flycatcher vs the Alder Flycatcher) are hard to ID from each other, we were able to ID this flycatcher as as Willow Flycatcher as follows:

      - The best way to differentiate the Empidonax flycatchers is by their songs and calls.  This flycatcher luckily was singing alot and we heard the song of the Willow Flycatcher: it sounds like "fitz-brew".
      - This flycatcher has an indistinct, almost invisible whitish eyering.  This is typical of a Willow Flycatcher.  The other Empidonax flycatchers, including the Alder Flycatchers, have more prominent eyerings.
      - Whitish throat.
      - Yellowish wash on belly.
      - Dark head, upperparts (what we can see) and tail.  They are probably brown-olive, but in the light they just looked dark.
     - Broad, short bill.  The lower mandible is orangish.  You can just make some orange out in the third photo.

   The Willow Flycatcher is a small insect-eating, neotropical migrant bird.  There are four subspecies, all of which breed in North America ( three of the subspecies breed in California).

   TheWillow Flycatcher is a new species to our Photographic Life List, which now stands at 784.