Tuesday Evening Lecture by Cin-Ty Lee and Andy Birch: “An Introduction to Empidonax Flycatchers and their Identification.”
Flycatchers are one of the most notorious identification challenges in American birding. No single field mark is diagnostic and many field marks are highly variable and non-unique. Flycatcher identification requires a holistic approach, where the combination of subtle features like wing shape, head shape, tail length, color contrasts, behavior and calls is unique. Through an upcoming new field guide on Empidonax flycatchers and pewees, Lee and Birch will show us how to study and listen to these flycatchers and gain an appreciation for all their subtle differences. Cin-Ty Lee is a professor of geology at Rice University in Houston, Texas and has been interested in studying and drawing birds for many decades. Andrew Birch is an avid birder and has spent much of his time illustrating birds for various identification articles and books. Together, Lee and Birch have pursued many of the most challenging identifications, such as loons, female orioles, pewees, dowitchers and pipits. Their new book – ‘Field Guide to North American Flycatchers,’ focuses on the identification of Empidonax and Pewees. They are currently working on another guide for Kingbirds and Myiarchus flycatchers.