Flycatchers, kingbirds, and phoebes are members of the “Flycatcher” family. They tend to be small plain-looking birds with a minor crest. They will often be seen perching on a tree branch or other object, from which they fly up and grab flying insects. Many flycatchers are similar in appearance and it takes close inspection to distinguish them.
Pacific-slope Flycatcher – Olive with yellowish breast, identified by the unique “teardrop” eyering that extends towards the back. Found in moist shady forest. (photo © airenz)
Hammond’s Flycatcher – Olive-gray with distinct round eyering. Long wings give the impression of a short tail. Found high in trees in dense coniferous forest. (photo © Michael Woodruff)
Dusky Flycatcher – Gray with round head, slender bill, and distinct eyering. Wings are short. Found in shrubby areas or open forest. Rarely seen in our area. (photo © Noah Strycker)
Willow Flycatcher– Olive-brown with thick bill, no distinct eyering, and wider white wingbars. Wings are relatively short. Frequents shrubby areas like willow thickets. (photo © cgates326)
Tropical Kingbird – Yellow reaches all the way to neck. Missing the white outer tailfeathers of Western Kingbird. A Latin American species seen here very rarely. (photo © Ben Holloway)
Eastern Kingbird – Dark gray with dark crest and white belly. Tail has unique white tip. Perches in open areas like Western Kingbird. Almost never seen in our area. (photo © Steve Tuckerman)
Say’s Phoebe – Gray to grayish-brown with cinnamon belly. Found in dry open country where it hunts low-flying insects. Very rarely seen here. (photo © Curtis Mahon)
Black Phoebe – Dark gray to black head, back, and chest with white belly. Distinct dark crest. Our more common phoebe, usually found perched near water. (photo © bhallberg)
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