English and Scientific names:

Brown-crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus tyrannulus)

Number of individuals: 

1 adult

Locality: LOUISIANA: 


Specific Locality:

woodlot off Diamond River Rd., between ball fields and Fosters Rd., Diamond

Date(s) when observed:

19 February 2009

Time(s) of day when observed:  

 12:30-1:30 PM CST


Reporting observer and address:

Justin Bosler

Baton Rouge, LA 

Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):

Devin Bosler

Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s): 

David Muth, Phillip Wallace, Robert Purrington, and Edward Raynor

Light conditions:

Fair skies w/ sun nearly directly overhead.  Plenty of sunlight penetrating partially leafed canopy for thorough study of subject in good light. 

Optical equipment: 

Zeiss Victory FL 8x42 binocular (good condition) and Kowa Prominar TSN-4 77mm spotting scope w/ 20-60x zoom eyepiece (good condition)

Distance to bird(s): 

as close as 15 meters

Duration of observation:

on and off for about an hour


Scrubby, second-growth tallow-mulberry-oak woodlot along Mississippi River w/ understory dominated by elderberry, baccharis, and dewberry tangles. 

Behavior of bird: 

It appeared, at least slightly, agitated in response to playback of BCFL; approaching some, but not too close, and responding w/ parts of song and typical “whip” calls.  It continued to fly-catch from low to mid-canopy usually from the outer branches at small openings.  Also preened from mostly concealed perch for several minutes.


Large Myiarchus flycatcher w/ bushy brown crest, mostly gray-brown upperparts w/ two grayish-white wingbars, and pale gray throat and breast contrasting considerably w/ relatively bright yellow belly.  Yellow extended anteriorly to about mid-breast or about even w/ upper wingbar.  Thin whitish margins on dark brown inner secondaries.  Tail was dark brown dorsally, but showed a significant amount of rufous ventrally.  R6 had a dark shaft stripe on the inner web w/ the remainder of the inner web rufous.  The tips of R6 were primarily rufous w/ dark brown restricted to the outer 1/3.  Large bill appeared entirely blackish (perhaps slightly paler at extreme base of lower mandible). 


Repeated emphatic “whip” notes mixed w/ some sputtering “burrrk” notes (similar to Great Crested but descending) and vibrato whistles. 

Similar species:

Firstly, Dusky-capped was eliminated by the overall large size and massive bill.  Ash-throated was eliminated by the “chunkier” body, slightly darker gray and markedly darker yellow tones of underparts, extensive rufous on tips of inner webs of R6 pair, and oversized bill.  Great Crested was eliminated by strikingly paler gray tones of throat and upper breast, noticeably paler yellow of belly,  thin, whitish margins on dark brown secondaries, dark brown shaft stripe on inner web of R6, and blackish base of lower mandible; all over and above the rare event of that species wintering north of extreme S FL/Mexico.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Digiscoped photos obtained by Justin Bosler and attached.

Previous experience with this species?

Previous experience limited to a few occasions in se. AZ pertaining to ssp. magister and in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of TX pertaining to ssp. cooperi.

Identification aids: 

at time of observation:


after observation:

Complete Birds of North America (Alderfer, 2006)

Notes made from? 

notes made after the observation, memory, and photographs.

Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 


Yes, 100% positive.


Justin Bosler   

Date and time: 

7 March 2009    7:30 PM CST