Flycatcher Mystery


Hammond’s Flycatcher

I was walking my dog Joyful in the park today when I noticed a little, olive-green flycatcher with a black beak, white wing-bars, and no visible eye-ring behaving just like flycatchers do: perching on a branch, then zipping up and around in a circle to catch an insect, and finally settling back on the branch to eat. When it flew, it revealed white feathers intermixed with darker feathers in the underside of its tail.

I watched this behavior for a while and then went home to my bird book to decide which, of all the usual suspects, mine was going to turn out to be. My best bet was the Hammond’s Flycatcher (though it would have arrived in the area far earlier than normal) because these are the smallest flycatchers, and this bird was small, and it fit the description in all ways — except for the eye-ring. But I have not been able to decide for certain.

I shall have to go back, and look carefully, and hope for a clearer identification.

p.s. As of today, 2/28, I feel confident that I have been seeing the Hammond’s Flycatcher!


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