Cordilleran Flycatcher Photographs, Nest, and Sound Recording, Mt. Graham, Arizona
Photos by Greg Clark, July 19, 1999 and June 2008.
Formerly known as the Western Flycatcher before being split into the Cordilleran Flycatcher and the Pacific Slope Flycatcher, this bird is one of the Empidonax Complex. The birds in this group all share the common characteristics of a light eye-ring and two pale wing bars. The Cordilleran Flycatcher also has a distinctive yellowish color to its underparts (including the throat) and the eye-ring is tear-shaped. Because other members of the group can also have a yellowish color in the fall it is important to remember that the Empidonax are best identified by voice, range and habitat. One location where the bird can be seen up close is at the visitor center on top of Mt. Graham where these photos were taken. Here the birds perch on low tree branches and stair railings between flying out to catch insects. The patient observer can sometimes see the birds from only a few feet away.
Cordilleran Flycatcher suspiciously holding a bug. Note the tear-shaped eye-ring and yellowish breast feathers.
Another view showing more of the yellow color.
Here the adult flycatcher is sitting on the skimpy nest located on the side of a dirt road cut on Mt. Graham, Arizona, June 2008. The nest is in plain sight, but almost impossible to find unless pointed out. It was located only two feet above the ground and only three feet from the side of the road.
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Copyright Greg Clark, 1999