Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii)

Mike Oxley

Cornwall Ontario, Canada

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Artist's Description

Willow Flycatcher Empidonax traillii
Cooper Marsh Conservation Area, Lancaster, Ontario, Canada
May 8, 2011

I was lucky to catch this little guy. They zip all over the place like galvanized ferrets on speed, but, after watching for a bit, I noticed that this one seemed to favour a particular branch on this tree. So I waited a bit and, sure enough, it came back. A little adjustment of angle and I let the the continuous drive do its thing.

With thanks to identify.whatbird.com


Small flycatcher, brown-olive upperparts, white throat contrasting with paler breast, white to pale yellow belly. Head has darker cap, faint white eye rings. Dark wings with two white bars. Feeds on insects, spiders, berries. Weak fluttering flight with shallow rapid wing beats.

Range and Habitat

Breeds from southern British Columbia, Alberta, North Dakota, New York, and Maine south to central California, Nevada, the southwest, Arkansas, and Virginia. Spends winters in the tropics. Preferred habitats include swampy thickets, upland pastures, and old abandoned orchards; also occurs along wooded lakeshores and streams

Some Interesting Facts

A group of flycatchers has many collective nouns, including an “outfield”, “swatting”, “zapper”, and “zipper” of flycatchers.

At one time, this bird and the Alder Flycatcher were considered to be a single species, Traill’s Flycatcher.

The species name commemorates the Scottish zoologist Thomas Stewart Traill.

The Willow Flycatcher was first described in 1828 by American ornithologist John James Audubon.

Sony Alpha 700, Sigma 170 to 500 at 500 mm
iso 100, spot metered, F6.3, 1/250 second

Artwork Comments

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