This week’s photo, taken May 30, 2016 at Richmond Beach Park in Shoreline, WA, features a WILLOW FLYCATCHER singing its favorite tune.
North America’s Empidonax flycatchers can be notoriously difficult to identify by sight since most of the nearly dozen species tend to look very much alike. Compounding the problem, they usually aren’t willing to submit to a DNA test. Fortunately, in the spring, here in the Northwest, the “Empids” often have something to say, and voice serves as the best identifying mark for this drab-looking group of birds.
The other day I knew there was a WILLOW FLYCATCHER nearby before I even saw it because it was belting out its signature phrase “FITZ-bew,” over and over again, at a rate of more than 10 times per minute. I like it when a bird speaks up and identifies itself.
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