Alder Flycatcher

Hey guys, welcome back. Today’s bird is yet another of the lookalike flycatchers from the genus empidonax. It’s also the last life bird on my list that I saw in Central Park. Breeding throughout central Canada, and migrating through the eastern US, the alder flycatcher isn’t quite as numerous in the states as its nearly identical counterparts. The alder flycatcher is a grab olive bird, with white wingbars and a faint eyering. Like the willow and Acadian flycatchers, the alder is best identified by sound, which to many sounds like “free beer!”

When I say the alder looks like other flycatchers, I’m not exaggerating. In fact, until 1973, the willow and alder flycatchers were thought to be a single species known as the Traill’s flycatcher. The two have different songs, and don’t respond to one another either. Something that likely helped in the splitting of the species. Alder flycatcher tend to nest in alder trees, hence their name.

As mentioned before, this was the last life bird I saw in Central Park before moving out of NYC. I saw the bird in the Ramble, and was pretty sure it was an alder. I did hear it call, but at the time wasn’t familiar enough with flycatcher sounds. After seeing a report from that same location and day of an alder, I felt more confident in my ID. Two more birds that we life birds in NY before I moved west. Next up is one of them; the piping plover. See you all then!

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