Monday, May 20, 2013

Window Lifers

I've been stuck inside for the past few days, but I had the pleasure of two lifers showing up outside my window. On Friday, a male American Redstart flitted in the holly tree outside my window, hunting for food and taking a break at times to preen. This was a fun bird to watch, but a pain in the butt to photograph. I've never seen a bird as active as the Redstart—it was never still. Even when perched, it was either preening or moving its head around as it looked for food. After I attempted to photograph the bird for a long period of time, my neck hurt for the rest of the evening.

Another lifer showed up outside my window today. As twilight approached after a day of rain, I noticed a bird perched on a high branch along the tree line. I grabbed my binocular and observed the bird. It flew from its perch to grab an insect a number of times, so I knew I had a flycatcher of some sort. An Eastern Phoebe was my first impression, but I noted that this bird wasn't as dark as a Phoebe, didn't flick its tail, and had wing bars. I flipped through a couple of my field guides, eventually suspecting an Acadian Flycatcher. However, after more observation, it became clear that this bird wasn't an Acadian Flycatcher. This bird was darker and larger than an Acadian, and its song didn't match an Acadian's. I listened to a number of bird songs, finally stumbling across one that matched what I was hearing: Eastern Wood-Peewee. After checking what I was seeing and hearing with my field guides, I was sure that I had an Eastern Wood-Peewee. I hope it stops by tomorrow so I can snap a picture of it.

Happy birding, folks!

Male American Redstart outside my window.

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