Flycatchers make me nervous. Not nervous like I would be if I were a fly, but nervous like a student who hasn't studied enough and is walking into an exam. Which ones have the wing bars? Which ones *don't* have the wing bars? Is that one's song the "pizza" one, or the "free beer" one? Is this the right habitat for that one?
Okay...I have studied some, so I am not completely in the dark. For example, some songs are really easy to remember, like that of the Eastern Wood-Pewee. And if I am not sure I can put name to song in the field, I will take notes on the song and then identify the bird later by comparing it to songs on the Internet or on CDs that I have purchased.
On my most recent trip to South River Falls (seems like so long ago...but it was only a month back), I listened to and watched several flycatchers. On a couple of occasions I had long looks, and enough time to take some pictures. I remember hearing their song, recognizing them and then taking photographs of them. When I finally got around to scanning through my pictures, however, I was stymied for several moments as I tried to identify the very much non-singing flycatchers in my photographs. I did not realize how much I actually relied on their song to make the identification. I took a few moments, flipped through some field guides, compared to other photographs, and basically re-identified the birds. And I felt pretty silly.
So here are two photographs that I took of a flycatcher on that hike. The first is Acadian Flycatcher. The second is Eastern Wood-Pewee. The second photograph caused me the most trouble in my re-identification efforts, and I still have this tinge of doubt.