As many of you are aware, an interesting Myiarchus flycatcher has been
in Santa Cruz, central California, since 1 January, and was identified
by several of us as a Nutting's Flycatcher on 3 January. The bird is
still present, and has since been observed by hundreds. Many have agreed
it is a Nutting's, but not all, and reviewers of posted photographs have
had mixed opinions. One very recent caller to a local BirdBox declared
it was an Ash-throated, and stated the bird needed "critical review."
For several weeks I have been preparing a series of page about this
bird. The basic methodology has been to review the published literature,
as well as the chat line files on the Arizona and Orange Co., southern
California, Nutting's, and then compare photographs of the Santa Cruz
bird next to photos of the Nutting's from Arizona and/or s. California.
The pages also contain many caveats about photographic review. This
project has grown to an introduction and six linked pages, now ready for
your consideration at
I have attempted to simply present evidence in the introductory and the
five primary linked pages on specific topics, reserving my own opinion
for the final page of the set. This has probably not been entirely
successful, but I recommend that you review all the primary pages first
and develop your own opinion before considering mine.
These pages are both wordy and photo-intensive, and therefore will be
slow to download on a dial-up modem. Even if you can download quickly,
there is a lot of material to consider. I suggest you make a cup of tea
or pour a glass of wine, and consider the evidence at your leisure.
The project could not have been possible without the assistance of
numerous photographers and field observers, who generously provided
photographic or written evidence. They are mentioned several places on
these pages, and I am very grateful for their help. As always, comments
and corrections are welcome. [I also apologize for the annoyance caused
Pacific Grove, CA