Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2006-13(R82)
(Transcribed by M. G. Moody)

Common name:

Least Flycatcher

Scientific name: Empidonax minimus
Date: 11 June 82, 12 June 82
Time: 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm;  7:30 am to 8:00 am
Length of time observed:  
Number: 1
Age: fresh - not worn - adult
Sex: -
Location: 320 Gordon Ln., Murray, Utah - in the cottonwoods along side Cottonwood Creek
Distance to bird: 30-75 feet - measured visually
Optical equipment: Bushnell  10x50 binoculars
Light Conditions: Partly cloudy with good light under full canopy of foliage
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Bird was first head calling "che-Bek" repeatedly.  Individual recognized as flycatcher in empidonax group by compact size, white eye ring, short bill, grayish brown back and throat light, breast olive not yellow and tail slightly forked not rounded or square, light wing bars.
   The only other birds it even slightly resembled were the western & the gray flycatchers.  But after having seen hundreds of both I just couldn't call it either.  I can't stress the voice quite enough in this case. "che-Bek" !!  Unfortunately I wrote the above description after observing and not during.  A few hours later, around 6 pm 11 Jun 82.
Song or call & method of delivery: The bird was calling from a perch.  It sounded to me like "che-Bek" or chebek.  At times it was definetly two parted with heavy emphasis on the last syllable, stressed a "beK". The "K" very clearly heard. Loud & persistent.
Behavior: The bird was first noticed by its repetitive call which I interpreted as "che-Bek". Upon seeing the bird flying out form a perch and hawking insects, I decided to look at it closer.  After one hour of observation (15 min total over the 1 hr. span) the bird appeared to stay within an area about 75 x 200feet.  Constantly flycatching and calling its two part call.
Habitat: residential area, planted lawn on both sides of Cottonwood Creek approx. 100 x 300 feet in size.  Mature cottonwood trees in full foliage presenting a 75% canopy.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Willow flycatcher - voice & habitat, eye ring not a round tail
Western flycatcher - voice, belly was not as yellow, didn't flick wings
Hammond's flycatcher - voice & habitat
Dusky flycatcher - voice & habitat
Gray flycatcher - voice & habitat, bird wasn't gray
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
No prior exp w/ E.minimus.  However I have exp in identifying the other Empidonax group I have listed.
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes made after.  (and habitat description from memory)
Observer: Brad Stovall
Observer's address: P.O. Box 1371 Susanville, CA  96130
Observer's e-mail address:  
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared:  
Additional material:  
Additional comments: