Friday, November 6, 2015

Western Wood-Pewee

Also seen at the Red Shale Forest Service Campground near Ashland, Montana, on 7 July 2015, was this cooperative Western Wood-Pewee. I previously posted that this flycatcher’s populations are declining, perhaps due to the destruction of western riparian habitat or other, unknown factors in their Latin American winter range. This decline, however, is curious. The bird is a wide-spread generalist in western woodlands. Wood-pewees sally forth in pursuit of a wide variety of flying insects.

Eastern and Western Wood-Pewees are nearly identical. Their breeding ranges, however, do not normally overlap. You can usually identify wood-pewees by call. The Eastern gives a high, plaintive “PEEawee,” whereas the Western sings a burry “DREE-yurr” (Sibley).

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