Monday, November 26, 2007

recovery information for a Willow Flycatcher(!!)

Hi Folks

We just received news that a Willow Flycatcher (band # 2460-68120; pictured below aside a Hammond's Flycatcher) that we captured on August 9, 2007 at our Lucky Peak fall migration station was originally banded by a colleague with the Utah DNR on August 25, 2006 in Hailstone, UT!! At least 250 miles as the crow flies ....

The bird is a 1-year-old female (hatched in 2006) - based on molt limits (not having replaced all feathers in the wing - a characteristic of many 1-year-old birds) and a brood patch.

Interestingly, Willow Flycatchers don't breed at Lucky Peak, we only catch an average of about 2 per year, and this bird was our only Willow of the fall 2007 season. Meanwhile, we caught about 250 Willows in a couple years at Camas NWR (more directly N of Utah) with no foreign encounters ....

As much as I was hoping to get a breeding location on this bird, it's pretty cool info to know it was migrating through Utah in 2006 and southwestern Idaho in 2007. And, the timing of each capture makes sense based on molt strategy because adults migrate earlier than immatures in this species.

Willow Flycatcher (right side in both photos) captured at Lucky Peak on Aug 9, 2007. This bird was originally banded as an immature bird on August 25, 2006 in Hailstone, Utah... For those Empidonax fanatics out there, that's a Hammond's Flycatcher on the left; notice the differences in bill size (bigger/wider on Willow), plumage color (greener upperparts on Hammond's vs. browner upperparts and a white throat on the Willow), and the lack of eye-ring on the Willow.


SegoLily said...

First time I've been on your site and it is great! The bird photos are beautiful and there's lots of excellent information! Glad to have found this site! Will be checking back often.

Pete Peterson said...

Good job Jay! Your AEI roots definately paid off!

Mission: to contribute to the conservation of western migratory landbirds through cooperative research and public education