adult; no sexual dimorphism (California, USA; 2007-10-07)

Willow Flycatcher
Empidonax traillii

Native Range: North America

Notes: this is another in a large group of small-sized Empidonax flycatchers that constitute a "sibling-species" complex, meaning that the species are nearly impossible to tell apart from one another in the field by plumage and morphology alone; instead, identification to a particular species relies on a combination of clues including habitat, subtle plumage features, behaviors in some cases, and especially the species' distinctive songs (which originally gave biologists the best hint that multiple species were present). This widespread species prefers low brushy habitats often near water. Song is a buzzy FITZ-bew or sometimes a three-syllable modification thereof.