Ever heard of Pine Flycatcher?

Ever heard of Pine Flycatcher?

The purpose of this blog post is to draw attention to one of the least known Empidonax species, one that has yet to appear in the ABA area, but is high on the list of many a birder as a potential vagrant. The bird I am speaking of is Pine Flycatcher (Empidonax affinis). An inhabitant of montane forests from just shy of the Arizona border to northern Central America, it favors (as one would expect) pine-dominated woodland.

The Toughest Birds to Record in North America

The Toughest Birds to Record in North America

But ask a recordist about the toughest birds in the ABA area and you’ll get a very different list. Most of the species that I talk about below aren’t really “hard” birds to see. Some of them can be downright common in the right areas. But what makes a bird hard to record can be quite different than what makes it hard to find.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody

Waxwings have some of the simplest repertoires of all passerines, with no true “song”, or at least none that has been documented. And even their calls are typically variations on the same trill. Or so I thought.

More Than Just a Mudsucker

More Than Just a Mudsucker

What was once a bird that made just a few simple, short chips or churrs suddenly has a large and varied repertoire that includes complicated aerial acrobatics and sounds as varied as low-pitched hooting to amazingly insect-like twittering. The first time I stood out on the tundra in Alaska I was blown away by everything I was seeing and hearing, and I’ve never looked at shorebirds the same way again.