Gray Flycatcher (Empidonax wrightii)

Gray Flycatcher
Gray Flycatcher - Riverside, CA
© Tom Benson
Gray Flycatcher
Gray Flycatcher - CSU San Bernardino
© Tom Benson

The Gray Flycatcher is a casual visitor to campus during winter and spring: wintering birds were seen in 2007-2008, 2008-2009, and February 2012, and spring migrants were observed 01 May 2011 and 28 Apr 2015. It is a rare winter visitor and fairly uncommon migrant in southern California, and an uncommon breeding bird on the drier, north and east-facing slopes of the mountains.

The Gray Flycatcher can be identified by its pale, brownish gray head and upperparts, dark brown wings and tail with grayish wing bars, whitish underparts, narrow white eye ring, black upper mandible (top half of the bill) and orange lower mandible (bottom half of the bill). It also tends to dip its tail downward instead of flicking it upward. It is a member of the genus Empidonax, a group of notoriously difficult-to-identify flycatchers.


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