Friday, July 11, 2014

Eastern Wood-Pewee

On 8 June 2014, Erika and I photographed this Eastern Wood-Pewee. This flycatcher is common across its breeding range in eastern North America. Its plaintive “pee-a-wee” song is often heard in our woodlands.

Eastern Wood-Pewees are late spring migrants. Because they nest high in trees and build cryptic nests, relatively little is known about their reproductive biology. The Eastern Wood-Pewee is quite similar to the Western Wood-Pewee. Both were once considered to be races of a single species. But their ranges hardly overlap, their songs differ (see tomorrow’s post) and no hybridization is known to occur (McCarty 1996). The same author writes that Eastern Wood-Pewees have declined significantly in numbers during the past 25 years. He speculates that this decline may be due to heavy browsing of forests by White-tailed Deer.

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