Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2004-43

Common name:

Least Flycatcher

Scientific name: Empidonax minimus
Date: 5/29/04
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Length of time observed: 30 minutes
Number: 1
Location: Riverdale Parkway
County: Weber
Distance to bird: 15 to 30 feet
Optical equipment: Pentax 8x42 Binoculars, Pentax 10x42 Binoculars, Bausch & Lomb Discoverer Zoom Scope
Weather: Partly cloudy with a slight breeze
Light Conditions: Good, evening sun
Detailed description of bird: Typical empidonax coloring (olive head and back, pale yellow wash on upper breast, white underparts, white wing bars, etc.)
Noticable small body size
Small rounded head, which appeared somewhat flat on top (i.e. no discernable crest)
Complete white round eye ring, which when combined with the small head made the eye appear quite large
Song or call & method of delivery: Distinctive "che-bek" song, heard 4 or 5 times in a 30 second period, otherwise the bird was silent.
Behavior: Perched quietly on the low bushes near the river, with occasional forays for insects.
Habitat: Riverside riparian area. Bird was in a relatively open area with grass, low bushes and a few small trees next to the river.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Pacific-slope, Cordilleran, Hammond's, and Dusky Flycatchers all have almond-shaped eye rings.
Willow Flycatcher's eye ring is not as bold.
All the above flycatchers have proportionally larger and crested heads.
Gray Flycatcher is larger and not as olive.
The Least Flycatcher's song distinguishes it from all others.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Numerous sightings in the northeast, midwest, and Texas as well as a few previous sightings in Utah. Abundant experience with the common flycatchers in Utah.
References consulted: Sibley and National Geographic
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Joel and Kathy Beyer
Observer's address: 1719 Hillcrest Avenue, Salt Lake City, UT 84106
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 11/13/04    (General Public)
Additional material:  
Additional comments: