Monday, December 26, 2016

are You a Nutting's Flycatcher?

Any time a person goes to the tropics wishlist dreams of antpittas, tanagers, and toucans run rampant.  However, a bird I had on my radar this last trip was Nutting's Flycatcher, a Myarchid whose range is centered in Mexico, barely vagrating to the U.S. and at its southern border in NW Costa Rica.  The problem is I'm not super familiar with all the other Myarchids given that we're limited to Great-Crested here.

SO, a whole lot of "are you a Nutting's flycatcher?" when I would run across one.
I had hopes for this bird, the CR book talks about Nutting's having a cinnamon rump which I guess this bird has, but it looks a little heavy billed.  Brown-capped Flycatcher would fall much more in the heavier-billed camp.  In addition Nutting's frequently has the edging of the secondaries blend the rufous of the primaries into the whitish of the tertials; this bird looks whitish on the secondary edges which also supports Brown-capped.  I recorded this bird and/or its mate; I have trouble differentiating Brown-capped and Nutting's even comparing them back to back.

Are You a Nutting's Flycatcher (2 pics)?

Again, I think it's too heavily billed.  In addition the top pic shows the underside of the tail; Nuttings should have a mostly rufous underside with darker edges.  I'm going to guess this also is Brown-capped.

Are YOU a Nutting's Flycatcher? (composite pic of the same bird).
 This one is probably the best candidate, the bill looks a lot smaller than the first birds', with the caveat that the bird is turned somewhat away.  I didn't hear this bird call (much less record it) so I don't know that I can say for sure.  Howell's Rare Birds of North America says that Nutting's has a brownish cheek whereas Ash-throated (also somewhat small billed) has a grayish cheek.  I'd vote grayish on this bird, but Ash-throated is a vagrant in Costa Rica.  SO, probably a Nutting's.  It'd be nice to have better than 'probably' for a lifer though.

I can say definitively this critter isn't a Nutting's Flycatcher.
This is probably Brown Longtail (or a cousin).  Long-tailed skippers are typically found only in SE Arizona and the Rio Grande valley in the U.S., so it was nice to see.

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