Home    Birding Iceland    Bird Photos    Rare Bird News    Links


A Least Flycatcher in Iceland

A strange looking bird, that had flown into a house, was caught by Katrín Jónsdóttir at Stokkseyri (S-Iceland) in the late afternoon of 6 October 2003 and brought to a local birder. The bird was clearly an Empidonax flycatcher, but which one?? After birders had studied and photographed the bird in the evening and following morning, it became clear that it is Western Palearctic's first-ever Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus (a juvenile bird) !!! The identification is based on the rather small size of the bird, a short primary projection and a well marked eye-ring (see photographs below).
The bird was released in the morning of 7 October.

There is only one previous record of an Empidonax flycatcher in the Western Palearctic; an Acadian Flycatcher E. virescens found dead at Selfoss/Iceland on 4 November 1967 (about 10 km north of Stokkseyri) ! - YK/07.10.2003

- click on the photos to enlarge -

Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus
Stokkseyri (S)
6 October 2003

© Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson

Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus
Stokkseyri (S)
7 October 2003

© Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson

Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus
Stokkseyri (S)
7 October 2003

© Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson

Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus
Stokkseyri (S)
6 October 2003

Note the obvious, white eye-ring.

© Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson

Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus
Stokkseyri (S)
6 October 2003

© Yann Kolbeinsson

Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus
Stokkseyri (S)
7 October 2003

View on the wing.

© Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson