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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dusky Flycatcher

Yesterday's flycatcher was still here so I got a few better photos of it. It seems that it has to be a Dusky Flycatcher. The empidinax species are really challenging to ID.

I'm pleased to see the Mexican Elder tree has blossoms, but I'm sure the birds will gobble them up before they become fruit. When I was a kid I loved Elderberry pancakes, made with the blossoms, not the fruit, as I recall.


  1. I'm curious, does this bird fly around in little groups from bush to bush cleaning and pecking along the bark as if finding something there to eat ? In Anza CA we had similar looking birds that flew in groups always and they were ever so dainty looking. They had a yellow-greenish underbelly and their nests were like a long tube sock made of all sorts of different materials.

    I also like your picture of the Mexican Elderberry. It's really a tough little tree as long as water is not far underground. Over here in Sweden people are crazy for Elderberries and even making a drink from the flowers. They are commonly found in folks gardens, of course they are of a different variety, but look almost identical in shape and form.

    Never once have I found US folks interested in it with the exception of one Mexican family and another couple up in Anza who were into native foods, but not many people were crazy about anything from the Elderberry tree which in my mind is one of the most productive of all the native plants with very little care.

    Nice post for today - Kevin

  2. Thanks, Kevin. Glad you're enjoying my blog. The elderberries we had in Iowa when I was growing up were different than these Mexican Elderberry trees too, but they look and taste the same basically. Yours are probably very similar. As for the birds, empidinax flycatchers don't forage in groups. They're always alone. I don't know the CA birds real well, but the only bird like what you described that comes to mind is a Northern Beardless Tyrannulet. I don't know what their nests are like and I don't think they forage in groups, or even in CA. Bushtits forage in groups but they don't have any yellowish on them. I'll have to do more research to determine what bird you're referring to.

  3. Had to give a chuckle here. Every single tim I see the name of this bird you referenced "Bushtits" so many bad words come to mind. LOL Wonder who invented that name and why.

    All my Dad's side of the family are from Independence Iowa.

    The particular bird I was talking about lives in Redshank Chaparral ecosystems and eats the little tiny catapillers or worms just under the Redshank's flakey bark which peels off every year.


  4. I'll research it. We're probably related. I was born in Fairbank, Iowa and am related to almost everyone in Fairbank, Jessup, Readlyn, etc.

  5. Our family names back there are Chessmore, Brown, Carver and Franck. Most are actually in the tiny town of Quasquenton on the Wapsipinican River just down stream from Independence. In fact a famous Frank Lloyd Wright house called Cedar rock is right there on the edge of town in Quaskie

  6. It just so happens that I got big into While I grew up on the Wapsi, the only surname that you mentioned that I'm even distantly related to is Franck. I'll research the connection.

  7. I did a search for that name on my ancestry tree and it turns out that it's related to my late husbands family in Burnet. TX. So no relation to me. I only recognized the name as being on my tree. Didn't know the connection. But my nephew is married to a girl who was born and raised in Scotland.

  8. Yup, as my uncle Marshal Chessmore would say. franck is a bingo. Lot's of Francks back there. And the next biggest family name is Chessmore and that name was on my Dad's mother's side of the family who were Browns. Rawley also has some Francks. Things have changed back there. now mostly everyone is a grain farmer on government subsidies no doubt growing that hideous Monsanto BT Franken-Corn that gets spray with Round-up regularly.