Hilary Turner found a Myiarchus Flycatcher on 8/29, but the look was quick and the bird remained unidentified. She sent me a message alerting me that she found an unidentified Myiarchus Flycathcer at Camas, wondering if I might want to check it out. Several other birders have seen the bird since I was able to identify it on 8/30.
LOCALITY OF OBSERVATION
Camas NWR (Jefferson County)
HABITAT WHERE THE BIRD WAS OBSERVED
Willows, Cottonwoods, and Russian Olives along Camas Creek (dry this time of year)
SIGHTING DURATION, CONDITIONS, and EQUIPMENT USED
I observed the bird off and on for about 15 minutes. Lighting was good (sunny and front lit) and wind was calm. I was using swarovski 8.5x42 el binoculars and a Canon 5d Mark iv with a 100-400 lens. I first saw the bird from 75 yards or so. The flash of yellow on the bellow was very bright and I suspected it was a Great Crested. I was eventually able to view the bird from 30-40 feet.
DID YOU TAKE NOTES?
No, not at all
DID YOU CONSULT A FIELD GUIDE OR OTHER REFERENCE WORK?
Yes, during the observation
WHICH GUIDE(S) OR REFERENCE(S): DID YOU CONSULT?
Sibley, Ibird Pro (both of which were apps on my phone)
DESCRIPTION OF THE BIRD(s)
The bird was a large flycatcher (nearly the size of a kingbird). It was a Myiarchus Flycatcher (rich brownish orange tail and wings and yellow underneath). I suspected it was a Great Crested Flycatcher when I saw the brightness and extensiveness of the yellow underneath. The bird appeared to have a dark gray head and throat that extended a little ways down the chest. The dark gray chest ended abruptly where it met the bright lemon yellow that extended from the middle of the chest all of the way to the undertail coverts. The yellow seemed to be of the same value and saturation throughout. The bird had a fleshy/pink base to an otherwise dark bill. It also had some bright white tertial edges which were very apparent when the bird was viewed from behind.
BEHAVIOR OF THE BIRD(s)
The bird sat still on branches, but would then fly down to the grass to catch grasshoppers and other insects. It was fairly skittish, and would disappear for long periods of time. I never heard it vocalize and it didn't respond to recordings.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE BIRD, AND WHAT CLINCHED THE IDENTIFICATION FOR YOU?
See above description.
HOW DID YOU ELIMINATE SIMILAR SPECIES? WHAT WERE THEY?
Ash-throated is the expected myiarchus and would be very pale below. The other myiarchus flycatchers wouldn't be this yellow below either.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS (AND SIMILAR) SPECIES?
I've seen dozens or more of this species in the gulf coast and other eastern locations.
DESCRIBE YOUR GENERAL BIRDING EXPERIENCE
I've been birding for 25 years and am a careful observer.
Description and photos support the identification of Great-crested Flycatcher.
well documented - description and photos - similar species eliminated
A very nicely-documented Great Crested Flycatcher!
Excellent description of the primary marks for this species, though would have liked more involved discussion of similar species. The attached photos are excellent as well indicating a first Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus) for the Idaho list!
well described & diagnostic photos
Excellent! Nice description and photos appear to be definitive.
Photos corroborate the description of gray throat and bright yellow underparts that convincingly distinguishes this species from other Myiarchus flycatchers.