Re: FOS Western Flycatcher @ Children's Garden in Botanical Garden


Western Flycatcher is synonymous with Pacific-slope/Cordilleran. The species split occurred in 1989 and Field Guides prior to then referred to it as Western Flycatcher.

You will often see people refer to silent Pacific-slope/Cordilleran Flycatchers as Western Flycatchers in respect of the difficulty in telling the two species apart visually. 

While the majority of Western Flycatchers that pass through here on the coast are probably Pacific-slope, and the early arrivals to known breeding grounds such as today's Golden Gate Park bird almost certainly so, I have no issue with reports using "Western" Flycatcher. Empidonax are difficult in the field and flippant attitude can often lead problem astray, so no issue with being extra cautious.

For what it's worth, Pacific-slope Flycatcher was unrecorded in the early 90s San Francisco Breeding Bird Atlas but since around 2010 it's been documented as a increasingly common nester in the Presidio, parts of Golden Gate Park and Glen Canyon. Similarly other parts of the state like the coastal slope of San Diego county have been colonized by pacific-slope Flycatchers which appear to be adapting to the mixed exotic "forest" habitat along edges of city parks and throughout suburbs.

Let me know if you have additional questions.


On Mar 13, 2020, at 15:27, Ralph McKinnon <mckinnon_ralph@...> wrote:

My field guides don't show a species named Western Flycatcher. I'm missing something. Maybe you mean Pac Slope?

On Friday, March 13, 2020, 3:20 PM, Dominik Mosur <dominikmosur@...> wrote:


Does original poster's description not match up with what you saw in the field?

Western Wood pewee doesn't typically arrive until mid April at the earliest , main pulse of migrants passing late April through May. They also don't exhibit any sort of "eye ring"

Description and timing are fine for a Western Flycatcher, albeit slightly earlier than the usual 3/20-3/25 range in recent years.

Let us all know, please.

Dominik Mosur

On Mar 13, 2020, at 15:14, Ralph McKinnon via Groups.Io <mckinnon_ralph@...> wrote:

Maybe WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE? Not sure...

On Friday, March 13, 2020, 2:58 PM, Ken Moy <ken.moy62@...> wrote:

Seen this morning around 10:30 for over 5 minutes: upright posture, orange yellow lower mandible and eyering extended past back of eye. Did not vocalize. It was above Muir Pond along with orange crowned and yellow-rumped warblers, pine siskins and ruby-crowned kinglets. Sighted calling Hutton's vireo on path to the pond for the flycatcher/kinglet/vireo trifecta.

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