Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax trailii)
a. Call is a liquid wit (N).
b. Song, fitz'bew, a whistle superimposed on a buzz, 16-28/min (R).
Distinctive song, a sneezy fitz-bew; often sings during spring migration (N).
c. On breeding grounds, also gives a rising breeet (N).
(Formally combined with Alder Flycatcher and named Traill's Flycatcher.)
Hammond's Flycatcher (Empidonax hammondii)
a. A sharp pic (R).
A short, sharp click, recognizable as first part of song (but one syllable only).
Alarm call a bick, heavier than that of other Empidonax flycatchers (F).
b. Male: whit (U,P).
Suggests Yellow-Rumped (Audubon's) Warbler, but softer.
c. Female: tweep (P).
Peep, similar to that of Pygmy Nuthatch (U).
Sometimes given repeatedly, about 50-60/min.
d. Song: low-pitched, of three parts,
Se-lip, twur, treeip (P).
Seput, pgrrrt, treeip (R).
Song very emphatic, most notes low and burry, without clear slides; sebit! djurrp!, djurreet! (sequence somewhat varied) (F).
Song resembles Dusky's but hoarser, more emphatic (N).
The song of this species is almost identical to that of the Dusky Flycatcher, but has a much "heavier" or "rougher" quality. The whit note (b) can be mistaken at a distance for a Western Flycatcher note, but is not as "clean" or sharp in quality.
Dusky Flycatcher (Empidonax oberholseri)
a. A soft whit (R,F). Example 1, example 2, example 3.
Very similar to that of the Hammond's Flycatcher.
b. A 2-syllable see-lick, recognizable as first part of song.
c. A musical du-hic or du du-hic; the hic part being higher pitched and very quick. Diagnostic. Territorial.
Especially in late morning or late afternoon, mournful sharp deew,deew,deew-whip! (number of both note types variable) (F).
A sharp high-pitched pew-whit or pee-wick (L).
d. Song: often of parts,
Clip wee zee, the zee note the highest (P).
Cheepit chuwee cheepit pseet, no particular sequence (R).
Song combines snappy, burry, and clear ascending notes: sabit!, djuree! pswee! (sequence somewhat varied) (F).
Song has 3 or 4 phrases: a clear sillit; a lower tsurrp; another high sillit, often omitted; and a clear, high seet (N).
A jerky see-pit, tsee-ee, see-week, similar to the song of the Hammond's flycatcher, but with the middle part double-noted and higher in pitch (L).
The song is very similar to that of the Hammond's Flycatcher, but has a "lighter" and somewhat "drier" (less "burry" [F]) quality.
Pacific-Slope Flycatcher (previously, Western Flycatcher) (Empidonax difficilis)
a. Male: a sharp, lisping pseet? or seest? with rising inflection (P).
Male's call note a rising whistle, pawee! (coastal forms) (F).
Pe-seet?, pe-seet? First phrase of song (e, below).
b. Abbreviated song: A variation on the above call, a thin, quick-whistled see-o-wheet, the last syllable with a rising inflection, like the whistle given to call a dog.
c. Female's note a very high and short see (F).
d. A high-pitched, very sharp, somewhat musical tic. May be two-syllabled, the first being much softer than the second and not easy to hear at a distance.
A sharp metallic chip or ting (L).
e. Song: often three-parted:
Pseet-trip-seet! (seet highest in pitch; listen to example below); arrangement varies (P).
Pchip, ee, pcheewee (R).
Song consists entirely of high, thin, squeaky whistles and snappy notes: pe-see! pit-tic, see (the phrase pit-tic can only follow pe-see!, and is often omitted in slow and halting song). All other western empids have burry, rough, or lower notes in songs. (F)
A series of single, up-slurred suwheet notes, often interrupted with pik notes.
A rising series of 3 detached notes, as tsee-dick, tseep, tsee-eet, the last note slurred upward; often repeated several times and modified, as tsee-eet, tsee-tick, tseep, tsee-eet, tsik, tsee-eet, etc.
Also, ptic, tsic, tsawheet.
The song and calls of the Western Flycatcher differ from those of Hammond's and Dusky Flycatchers in that the Western's are very high-pitched and have a sharper, "cleaner" quality (purer in tone). All vocalizations except "d" above carry 100-200 m; these are all soft sounds but they travel well because of their high-pitched whistle quality.
Western Wood-Pewee (Contopus sordidulus)
a. A nasal, buzzy peeeer, descending in pitch (P).
Call a burry, slightly descending pheeer, or a more emphatic pheeer-reet, given every 5-10 seconds, often with longer pauses between phrases (F).
Abbreviation of song.
A mild melancholy descending pee-eer or a hoarse phee-ee or pee-ah-wee (L).
Sometimes doesn't descend as much: peeyee (P) or pee-wee (U).
b. Song: A long, continuous sequence of emphatic pheer-reet calls, alternated with less harsh, somewhat rolling, 3-syllable phee-rr-reet, repeated without interruption (F).
A slurred hee-za-wip, purr-dee, rises on the first phrase and falls on the second (L).
Olive-Sided Flycatcher (Contopus borealis)
a. A trebled pip-pip-pip (P,R), example 2.
Also given in two's (L).
b. Song: a loud, spirited, melodious whistle: quick-three-beers!, middle note highest, last sliding (P).
Whip-three-beers, 6-10/min (R).
A loud ringing pip-pee-up,pew or whi-whee-whew (L).
Above song and call are very audible, especially as birds commonly vocalize from tall tree perches along clearings; carry 200-250 m or more.
Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis)
a. A sharp whit or whit-ker-whit (P).
Call is a sharp whit (N).
Calls are less rasping than Eastern Kingbird's (R).
b. Shrill, bickering calls (P).
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)
a. A soft silip or seery (L).
A cheet or chi-veet (P).
Variations on a liquid chweet (U).
A pleasing, liquid, twittering klweet (R).
b. A liquid twitter (P).
c. Song: weet, trit, weet, repeated with variations (P).
Violet-Green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina)
a. A thin chip or chit chit (P).
A sharp chee-cheet (L).
A high chip-chip (F).
b. A rapid chit-chit-chit wheet wheet (P).
A twittering tsee-tseet-tseet-tselt-tseet (L).
c. A high dee-chip given in flight (U).
d. A series of varying tweet notes (U).
e. A twitter (P).
f. A yip or yeep like a lost baby chick (L).
Calls often have an echoing quality. Calls (d) and (e) may be various interpretations of call (b).
Northern Rough-Winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)
a. A harsh trrit, rougher than Bank Swallow's (P).
Low, unmusical br-r-ret, more drawn out than that of Bank Swallow, and often doubled (U).
A rough, rasping, rather hard brrrtt, often repeated several times (F).
A sharp prit, preet or pree-eep (L).
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
a. A short sharp kvit, kvik-kvik, with a dry rattling of the bill (L).
A soft vit or kvik-kvik, vit-vit (P).
Sharp pit-vik (U).
A soft wit or wit,wit, frequently given in flight (F).
b. About nest, a harsh, irritated ee-tee or keet (P).
An emphatic keet-ik; alarm note (L).
c. A clear, excited slip, slip or tsi, tsuh (F).
d. Song: a long musical twitter interspersed with gutterals (P).
A series of soft twittering notes (U).
A complex, energetic series of emphatic, clear notes: sip,sip,sip,sip, interspersed with long, rather harsh, twittering rattle, often given incessantly (F).
Cliff Swallow (Hirundo pyrrhonota)
a. A low chur (P,L).
Quite different than the notes of other swallows (U).
A low chrrr (F).
b. Alarm note, keer (P).
A nasal nyew (F).
c. Song: creaking notes and guttural gratings; harsher than Barn Swallow's song (P).
Often given in flight; a harsh series of squeaking and grating notes (F).
The dry twittering, sound like the squeaking of a rusty door, is distinctive (L).