English and Scientific names:

Brown-crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus tyrannulus)

Number of individuals: 

1 in alternate plumage



Specific Locality:

Approximately 0.5 miles from entrance of Caernarvon Diversion canal's west levee; about 100 yards from second gate (aka first gate from entrance) in riparian habitat along canal. Town: Braithwaite, Louisiana.

Date(s) when observed:


Time(s) of day when observed:  


Reporting observer and address:

Edward Raynor

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

William M. Finney, Dan O’Malley, and Hannah Tetreault

Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)


Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):

Full sun on our backs, bird was very difficult to photograph in good light

Optical equipment: 

Nikon Premier, 8 x 42mm L, Brunton 20 x 60mm spotting scope

Distance to bird(s): 

3-5 meters

Duration of observation:

30 minutes


Bottomland batture of diversion; mixed Willow and Wax Myrtle riparian edge

Behavior of bird: 

We heard a loud splash in a small ditch in batture and several birds were startled including a Least Flycatcher, which was very responsive to playback. After photo-documenting the Least Flycatcher, we noticed a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and another larger songbird in the canopy. The confirmation of a Myiarchus sp was made after 30 seconds of following the bird in the canopy. While we observed the flycatcher it successfully caught a few flying insects.


Upon confirmation of Myiarchus sp, we observed the undertail pattern of this somewhat cooperative insectivore. Large bill and head, rufous wings and tail, and a light yellow underside; wings did not extend past vent.


Not heard but quite responsive to playback; coming within 3 meters of the four observers on edge of vegetated edge

Similar species:

We noted that the undertail's rufous coloration extended to the tail’s terminus, which eliminates Ash-throated flycatcher (Myiarchus cinerascens). A very large bill, pale yellow belly, and pale gray throat and breast eliminate Great-crested Flycatcher, which actually was the first species ID response of Finney and O'Mally during initial inspection. This bird was also very large in size for a Myiarchus species.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Yes, Hannah Tetreault and William Finney.

Previous experience with this species: 

I have observed this species in summer at Sierra Vista, AZ and last year in Point a La Hache, Louisiana.

Identification aids:

D.A. Sibley: Birds of Eastern North America used during observation.

This description is written from: 


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



Date and time: 

3/7/10, 2:00pm