Flycatcher ID

To: <>
Subject: Flycatcher ID
From: Carol Probets <>
Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2003 15:18:02 +1100
There was an excellent article on flycatcher ID by Graeme Chapman in the
June 2003 edition of Wingspan. On the question of female and juvenile
Leaden vs. Satin, he writes:
"Put simply, they are difficult. Juveniles are probably only separable by
measurement. Adult female Satin Flycatchers display a diagnostic bluish
sheen on the crown which is not evident in female Leadens, nor in juveniles
of either species. The density and extent of the rufous colouring on the
throat is variable and not a reliable character; adult female Satins do
tend to be darker. They are also a bit darker on the back than female
Leadens, but this is not easy to assess in the field."

His comment about the extent of the rufous throat colouring not being a
reliable character is particularly interesting as this is one of the main
features mentioned in most of the field guides. Personally I have found
this feature to be quite variable in both species.

And so to Mike's bird. With the above in mind, I don't think the bird can
be identified with certainty from the photos. However, I believe that
Leaden would be a much more likely contender at that location (Nepean
River, Penrith - at the foot of the Blue Mountains, NSW) - although Satin
could possibly pass through during its migration.



Carol Probets
Blue Mountains NSW

Mike Simpson wrote:
>... I photographed a small bird this morning, and
>need a bit of help with identification, some type of flycatcher?
>Please have a look at
>and let me know what you think?
>Best regards - Mike
>Penrith, NSW, Australia

And Craig Doolan wrote:
>The female flycatcher in question tends to look like a Satin to me also
>but I'd be interested to hear from everyone what they consider the best
>features to tell them from a Leaden.

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