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#ABArare – Variegated Flycatcher – Florida

Florida’s reputation for great winter Tyrannids was bolstered again today when Russ Titus and others found a Variegated Flycatcher (ABA Code 5) at Evergreen Cemetery in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

VEFL FL

Photo by Balaji Devarajan

Evergreen Cemetery is just southeast of the Davie Blvd and US 1 intersection. The bird is frequenting a ficus tree near the terminus of SE 13 St.

Variegated Flycatcher, Empidonomus varius, is a tropical South American species and the nominate subspecies, varius, is a long-distant austral migrant which winters in northern South America and the western Amazon basin.

There are six records of this species in the ABA Area previously, literally from all corners of the continent. The first ABA-Area record of this species was one photographed at Biddeford Pool, Maine in 1977. Subsequent records have come from Obion, Tennessee (1984), Toronto, Ontario (1993), Franklin, Washington (2008), and St. John’s, Florida (2013).

Variegated Flycatcher is very similar to another vagrant flycatcher, Piratic Flycatcher. In fact, the first report of  Variegated in Florida was subsequently determined to be Piratic. For visual comparisons between Variegated and Piratic Flycatchers, Martin Reid’s website (follow the link) has excellent photos and a study of the two species.

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