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Flycatcher in northern Arizona?


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I took this photo in northern Arizona, near Flagstaff, on the morning of August 14.  This little bird was in the sunflowers near some small ponds.  Is it a Flycatcher or something else?

In general, do you have any tips for identifying birds?  I'm a little colorblind, so I don't think that subtle color difference will help.  Should I try to make note of birdsong, behavior, size, or something else like that when I'm out birding?  Sometimes these little birds are quite fast, so they're difficult to observe.  Thanks!

DSC_9619.jpg

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9 hours ago, GracesWarbler said:

Should I try to make note of birdsong, behavior, size, or something else like that when I'm out birding? 

All of the above and also note posture.  It's definitely helpful to get a photo like you did, so you can easily study the shape and proportions (beak size, tail length, primary projection, and even head size) and things like beak and leg color and plumage pattern.  It sounds like a lot to remember, but eventually you'll be able to recognize the features without thinking much.

The fact that the bird was fast gives you a clue.  Flycatchers tend to be fairly still, perching upright on a branch then sallying out to catch an insect and returning to a branch.

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14 hours ago, GracesWarbler said:

After looking through the Flycatchers in my bird book and not finding a good match, I should have tried similar types of little birds.

Now you're getting the idea!

For giggles, try looking through your guide at a time when you're not actively trying to identify a bird.  Page through it when you have a few moments.  You'll probably find a few species you weren't previously aware of, and you'll be more aware of the possibilities the next time you want to ID something.

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