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Pacific-slope flycatcher        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Difficult to identify like most Empidonax, Pacific-slope flycatchers are common spring migrants throughout southern California.   All members of the genus have eye-rings, two pale wing-bars, and the same general subdued coloration of various shades of greeen, brown, and yellowish.   Pacific-slope flycatchers have greenish-brown heads and yellowish bellies, and the eye-ring is in a 'teardrop' shape.   In the left picture above, you can see the broad, flat bill with surrounding bristles that are characteristic of 'empids'.   Some of these were catching insects and making territorial calls in shady sycamore trees in Two Trees Canyon in Riverside, California; for a brief moment one (below, right) was backlit by low morning sunlight.   Several others were in photographed during migration on lower Lee Vining Creek in Mono County, California.   (This species was recently split from the Western flycatcher into the Pacific slope and cordilleran flycatchers.)   Several other similar 'Empid's' are the willow, gray, dusky, Hammond's, and alder flycatchers).

  • Canon 10D or 1D4; 500mm f4 IS with 1.4X or 2X converter or 800 mm IS lens with 1.4X converter, fill-in flash (2004, 2011, 2012, 2014)