A presumed Collared x Pied Flycatcher hybrid ringed yesterday at Merzouga Ringing Station by Marc Illa, Ivan Maggini, Armando Aispuro and Georg Gruber.
The bird was caught and ringed by experienced ornithologists who known what they are doing. Despite this, they added the adjective ‘presumed’, because they know that the identification of hybrid Ficedula flycatchers is very difficult.
Even without considering the hybrids, the field identification of black-and-white flycatchers is not easy, especially during migration (where more than one species can be present) or when encountering a vagrant bird (e.g. Atlas Flycatcher in Europe).
- Copete, J.L., Armada, R., López, F. & Bigas, D. 2010. Identification of Atlas Flycatcher in summer plumage. Dutch Birding 32: 155–162.
- Corso, A., Janni, O., Viganò, M. & Starnini, L. 2015. Atlas Pied Flycatcher: variability of identification characters. Dutch Birding 37: 141–160.
- Mild, K. 1994. Field identification of Pied, Collared and Semi-collared Flycatchers. Part 1: males in breeding plumage. Birding World 7: 139–151.
- Potti, J., Copete, J.L., Gutiérrez-Expósito, C. & Camacho, C. 2016. Morphological and sexual traits in Atlas and Iberian Pied Flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca speculigera and F. h. iberiae: a comparison. Bird Study 63: 330-336.
The young Golden Nightjar discovered last month at Aousserd are starting to fly (7 April, Mohamed Lamine Samlali). But as expected, the pressure from birders is already high. Anyone who has seen the recent photos will understand perfectly. As always, I am not trying to blame anyone, but the responsibility to protect these birds reposes on everyone’s shoulders (bird guides and birders alike). The same thing has been said again and again about the Marsh Owl at Merza Zerga, the only stronghold of the species in the Western Palearctic.