[CT Birds] Fork-tailed flycatcher Question

Jamie Meyers ctredbird2 at comcast.net
Sun Dec 1 22:02:05 EST 2013

Forgive me if this a repeat but in terms of "how it got here", we'll never of course know for certain but my understanding is that there are two populations of this species in the tropics. One is in Central America and is non-migratory but the other is in South America and is migratory. Being late spring in the Southern Hemisphere, kind of the equivalent to our Memorial Day week down there, certainly members of that population have lately been moving. If one were to draw a straight line from their wintering to their summering grounds but extended that line straight up towards North America, one finds that this line comes to land here in the eastern U.S.. This, I have heard, is the most commonly thought reason so why so many of these birds show up in the eastern U.S.. As great a find as this is, my heart goes out to this bird and I hope it somehow finds its way back to warmer climes very soon. 

In looking at my photos and also some of the nicer ones that others have posted, does it look like the inner primaries appear to be kind of short, especially when compared with the outer ones, like the bird is in some kind of molt? 

An oddity some of us commented on is that at one point the bird was sitting in the same patch of vegetation with a Dark-eyed Junco. That is certainly an odd twosome! 

Jamie Meyers 
Canton, CT 

----- Original Message -----

From: "Dan Rottino" <rottino at hotmail.com> 
To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org 
Sent: Sunday, December 1, 2013 9:07:36 PM 
Subject: [CT Birds] Fork-tailed flycatcher Question 

Hi all. Now that I have actually seen this classic oddity of migration, I am interested in the most plausible theory on how it arrived here. Some that I have heard don't make common sense. If it is spring in the Southern Hemisphere, then migrating birds should be heading away from the equator southward. One guide simply states that some birds make a 180 degree mistake. What's the best theory? Thanks, 

Dan Rottino 
East Haddam 

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