American Birding Podcast



#ABArare – Pine Flycatcher – Arizona

Earlier this weekend, Dave Stejskal found and photographed a strange Empid in the Santa Rita Mountains of Pima County, Arizona, that was eventually identified as a Pine Flycatcher, a potential 1st ABA Area record. It was easily relocated today (5/30) by a number of birders who got photographs and recordings of the bird calling. 

Photo: Laurens Halsey

Photo: Laurens Halsey

The bird was seen at Aliso Springs, in the northeast corner of the Santa Ritas. It is a rarely visited and difficult canyon to access. A high-clearance vehicle with 4-wheel drive is essential. Directions to the site are extensive and related by Skejskal on the AZ-NM listserv here.

Note that 1048 in the instructions is typo, it should read 4048.

Pine Flycatcher is a Middle American flycatcher in the Empidonax genus found from northeast Mexico through Guatemala. It is primarily a bird of pine-oak woodland and clearings. It has long been expected to be a potential vagrant to the ABA Area, but one that would be difficult to confirm because of its similarity to its cogeners, so excellent photos and recordings of any vocalizations would be critical to its identification. A potential Pine Flycatcher at Choke Canyon, Texas, in 2009 was eventually determined to be a Least Flycatcher. This one, however, looks to be the real deal, and a long-awaited addition to the ABA list, pending acceptance.