Least Flycatcher at Deep Springs

Observers: Jon Dunn
Email: tjheindelataoldotcom
Remote Name:
Date: 09/18/2005
Time: 05:42 PM -0400


On 18 September Jon found a Least Flycatcher at Deep Springs College. After you park at the cattle guard and begin the walk towards the college take the first right turn and walk past the corn field. It was seen in the "corral" area right next to the big cottonwood tree and moved all the way past Geoff & Iris Pope's house and remaining on the road, out on the other side of the barn. It would forage on the ground and then fly up to the lower branches. It preferred remaining low even when the wind died down. The bird can be identified by a mass of missing feathers on the back of the head. Other helpful marks are the large head with obvious white eyering slightly teardropped on the back side. The short bill is mostly orange-yellow with only a slight darkening at the tip. The throat is whitish in stark contrast to the mousy brown wash across the breast and the very whitish lower belly and flanks. The tertials are broadly edged with whitish and the rest of the wings are very dark, almost blackish. The bird seldom jerked its tail, even after landing, but the few times it did it went up. The birds was never heard to vocalize. In the area were also Gray, Dusky and Willow Flycatchers with the Dusky looking more like a Least than the others. The "dirty" flanks of the Dusky are radically different from the "clean" flanks of the Least. Least Flycatchers are casual visitors with the fall window from early Sep to late Nov.