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(Empidonax difficilis insulicola)

(Empidonax difficilis insulicola) [Mainland and Endemic]



1897 San Clemente Island:Empidonax difficilis—Island Flycatcher. On June 5, I secured a pair of these birds. They were in a deep, dark gorge, flitting about the face of a mossy wall where there was probably a nest, though I failed to find it. Along the precipitous north side of the island in the vicinity of Mosquito Cove, several were noted on June 7. As far as I could judge, the notes and mien of the Island Flycatcher were in no way different from those of the mainland bird. As I did not observe any of these birds on my first visit, it may be presumed that they are only summer visitants, as is E. difficilis on the mainland...The party consisted of Joseph Grinnell, who had immediate charge of the expedition, and gave special attention to the ornithology and entomology of the islands; Horace Gaylord, who collected mammals; and Harry Gaylord and James Brittan [Britton] who devoted their time to archaeology. The party left San Pedro harbor May 11 in a large fishing schooner... [returning June 9, 1897]”
Grinnell, Joseph Report on the Birds recorded during a visit to the Islands of Santa Barbara, San Nicolas and San Clemente, in the Spring of 1897 Pasadena Academy of Sciences Publication No. 1, August, 1897 (26 pages).

1907 San Clemente Island:Empidonax difficilis. Western Flycatcher. The first pair was observed April 1, in a deep gorge near Mosquito Harbor. April 3 several were seen and secured. Only three or four noted during October.” [“Visits were made to Clemente in January, February, March, April and October, 1907.”]
Linton, C. B. Notes from San Clemente Island The Condor 10:82-86, March 1908

San Clemente Island Joseph Grinnell MVZ June 5, 1897 MVZ-33349 Empidonax difficilis insulicola Birds
San Clemente Island Joseph Grinnell MVZ June 5, 1897 MVZ-33350 Empidonax difficilis insulicola Birds


1905-1906 Santa Catalina Island:Empidonax difficilis. Western Flycatcher. One of the most abundant birds on the Island. Found wherever there is shrubbery, from the shore to the highest ridges. The birds were in pairs and the breeding season was apparently just beginning, one partly completed nest being found. Some time was spent in watching the owners of this nest. One of the birds would work on the nest, while the other, presumably the male, would place itself in an exposed position to ward off intruders. Evidently it classed all birds as intruders, for an innocent Dusky Warbler, which happened to alight in the tree, was instantly driven off, leaving behind a goodly number of feathers. The inadvisability of retaining the name insulicola for the Empidonax from the Santa Barbara Islands has been discussed in previous numbers of THE CONDOR and will not be reiterated here.” [“These notes are the result of two brief sojourns on Santa Catalina Island in the month of April, eight days being spent in 1905, and five in 1906. Fortunately both trips were made after wet seasons; the hills were carpeted with grass, flowers and insects were abundant.”]
Richardson, Charles H., Jr. Spring Notes from Santa Catalina Island The Condor 10(2):65-68, March 1908


1898 Santa Cruz Island: “...Some groves of eucalyptus trees planted further up the valley were the dwelling place of quite a number of birds common to the mainland, such as Allen's Hummingbird (Selasphorus alleni), Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna), Lawrence's Goldfinch (Spinus lawrenci), Arkansas Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria), Western Chipping Sparrow (Spizella socialis arizonae), Western Flycatcher [which has been separated into a new species by Oberholser in the Auk, Vol. XIV, No. 3, July, 1897, and designated as Empidonax insulicola. This has not yet been allowed by the A. 0. U. Committee. It was commonly heard on the island, but during my stay was very shy and seldom seen]... Following is a list of birds observed during my stay:- Western ? Flycatcher (Empidonax difficilis ) ...”
Mailliard, Jos., Spring Notes on the Birds of Santa Cruz Island, Cal., April,1898 The Condor 1(1):41-45, April 1899

1907 Santa Cruz Island:Empidonax difficilis. Western Flycatcher. Several seen and heard. November to December 15; none secured.” [“At 11:30 p.m., November 19, 1907, my father (H. Linton), Mr. George Willett, and myself left San Pedro harbor in a dilapidated fishing smack and in company with a crawfisherman, one “Cold-foot” Jorgensen. We arrived off the south end of Santa Cruz Island at 10:30 the following day during a stiff norwester. For various reasons we were unable to make camp until the 22nd. It may not be amiss to state here that twice during the blow we were nearly wrecked: once while at anchor in Potatoe Harbor, a broken anchor allowing the boat to drift within the breaker line and nearly onto the rocks. In this instance the timely arrival of Willett and H. Linton in a small boat, saved the day, and incidentally the fishing smack. At another time (the engine having broken down) we were blown nearly onto the rocks of Anacapa Island; but with father at the wheel and Willett and I on the “sheet” we managed to hold her off. I mention the foregoing, and the many sleepless nights spent on the rocky shores, “running” the surf several times each day (with attendant duckings), etc., merely as a warning to those who seem inclined to believe a field naturalist’s life “strewn with roses”. (Its ’ generally strewn with cacti!)”]
Linton, C. B. Notes from Santa Cruz Island] The Condor 10(3):124-129, May 1908


1927 Santa Rosa Island: Empidonax difficilis. Western Flycatcher. A few were seen by Carriger and Pemberton in deep shady canyons on April 2. One old nest was found. ” [“Through the generosity of Mr. Silsby M. Spalding who placed at our disposal his splendid cruiser Padariva I the writer accompanied by H. W. Carriger, Dudley DeGroot and 0. W. Howard was enabled to spend the period from March 25 to April 5, 1927, inclusive, among the Channel Islands off the coast of southern California.”]
Pemberton, J. R. Additions to the known avifauna of the Santa Barbara Islands The Condor 30(2):144-148, March-April 1928

Isla Cedros Lyman Belding USNM April 16, 1881 USNM-82429 Empidonax difficilis Birds