I think I’ve done it, and by “it” I mean devised an ID challenge so… challenging that even our audience won’t be able to crack it. We all know how difficult empids can be to identify. Now take a bird that may not even be an empid or even a flycatcher for that matter but still bears the hallmark inscrutability of the Empidonax tribe. Next, place the bird down in South America, far from most of our readers’ comfort zones. Last but not least, make the photo of the bird really dark and grainy! Excited yet?

But, as the title of this post proclaims, this ID challenge is a benevolent one. Identify this bird properly and you may be adding a species to my life list. Good luck!

small, drab bird spotted at Mangaloma Reserve in Ecuador

Written by Mike
Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but he's also a traveler who fully expects to see every bird in the world. Besides founding 10,000 Birds in 2003, Mike has also created a number of other entertaining but now extirpated nature blog resources, particularly the Nature Blog Network and I and the Bird.