Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2013-66

Common name:

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

Scientific name: Empidonax flaviventris
Date: 9-10-13
Time: 12:00pm
Length of time observed: 5 minutes
Number: 1
Age: ?
Sex: ?
Location: Garr ranch,Antelope Island
County: Davis
Latilong: ?
Elevation: 4200ft
Distance to bird: 20ft
Optical equipment: 10X50 binoculars,Canon powershot SX20 IS digital camera
Weather: Party cloudy,warm 75F
Light Conditions: good
Description:        Size of bird: Small flycatcher, 6 inches long
(Description:)       Basic Shape: erect passerine
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: overall very yellowish,with 2 whitish wingbars
(Description:)            Bill Type: short,thin
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
What I first notices was a very yellowish flycatcher,and thought it must be a Cordilleran,however once I saw the complete eyering,I immediately though it must be a YBFL,so I started taking photos and video. This flycatcher had a complete eyering,a longish bi-colored bill,a moderate primary projection(seen in the photos not in the field),an olive yellow back and head,very yellow breast and belly,and a slightly yellow throat.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: none heard
Behavior: When I first located it,the bird had just dropped down off a low barbed-wired fence into the grass,then it popped back up onto that same fence and just sat there at close range for a few minutes,where I got a good look at it and took the photos and video. It then dropped down onto the grass again,but this time went off to the east into a russian-olive tree,where I lost it. I tried to relocate it but there were a couple other flycatcher around and I lost track of it. I then went and got my tablet in my car to try some playback, and when I came back I got no response at first,but then I saw the bird again on the same fence and got more photos,however unfortunately they ended up out of focus, then the bird went up into the tree again and I went on to find other birds
Habitat: Near a spring grown with thick trees and brush, in an otherwise open landscape on the edge of the greats salt lake. A known migrant trap.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Not a Willow/Alder Flycatcher-eyering to prominent
Not an Acadian-eyering complete,primary projection not long enough
Not a Least-Primary projection to long,no contrasting white throat
Not a Gray-Primary projection too long,also to yellow overall
Not a Cordilleran/Pacific-slope,Primary Projection to long,eyeing complete
Not a Dusky-Primary projection to long,complete eyering,high contrasting wingbars and tertial
Not a Hammond's-Bill bi-colored and to long.complete eyering,high contrasting wingbars and tertial
Not a Buffy-bellied-Primary projection too long,no orange belly
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher seems to be the only option left,and there is no field mark that rules it out that I can see
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I've never seen a YBFL before,however one was report at Garr ranch last year,and the next day I went there to see it,saw some candidates,which caused me to study up on field ID of YBFL. I am very familiar with Hammond's,Dusky,Cordilleran,and Willow,all of which nest near my cabin, and moderately familiar with Gray and Least
References consulted: iBird Pro,Audubon Guides:Birds(apps),The Sibley Guide to Birds,D.A. Sibley 2000
Description from: From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Bryant Olsen
Observer's address: 688 East 700 South #105 Salt Lake City,UT 84102
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: none
Date prepared: 09-13-13
Additional material: Photos Video