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Posts Tagged ‘flycatcher’

New to the yard is a flycatcher; I think its a Willow Flycatcher and he’s seated on the top of a T-post with an attached Chickadee House. I saw the bird right before dark on Sunday night and got a few shots of him or her through the dining room window, so they are not very clear:

 

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Today I was able to get a few close-up preening and flying shots of these large Flycatchers running down insects. There are hundreds of Scissor-tail Flycatchers nesting in the Vendor Valley,  a few miles east of my home:

 

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If you don’t have to get up and go. We got 0.20 since midnight and supposedly more on the way too. Barely hear a bird in the early morning anymore. Their nesting season is drawing to a close for 2013.

Yesterday, I drove to Dixon Ford on the Buffalo River; it is 22 miles above Boxley and just downstream from the two forks that  make it the Buffalo River. It was not dry as I expected, but very low. On the way back I drove up AR 16 to AR 21 to AR 43 and stopped along the Boxley valley\y in several locations. It was a beautiful summer day. I got a photo of a White Winged crow and several Scissor-tailed Flycatchers. The first I have seen a white winged crow since last September. They are  “leucistic”, partially albino. Ive got lots to do today, hope the rain stops for a while.

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Dixon Ford on the Buffalo

Dixon Ford on the Buffalo

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These are birds with personality; some even stay in Arkansas all winter or return in late January. They can often be heard with a monotonus song “phoebe, phoebe, phoebe, phoebe …… phoebe” repeated over and over again.

Photo taken with a Canon 50D and a Canon 400 DO IS f/4.0 Lens.

One of our most familiar eastern flycatchers, the Eastern Phoebe’s raspy “phoebe” call is a frequent sound around yards and farms in spring and summer. These brown-and-white songbirds sit upright and wag their tails from prominent, low perches. They typically place their mud-and-grass nests in protected nooks on bridges, barns, and houses, which adds to the species’ familiarity to humans. Hardy birds, Eastern Phoebes winter farther north than most other flycatchers and are one of the earliest returning migrants in spring.

  • Size & Shape

    The Eastern Phoebe is a plump songbird with a medium-length tail. It appears large-headed for a bird of its size. The head often appears flat on top, but phoebes sometimes raise the feathers up into a peak. Like most small flycatchers, they have short, thin bills used for catching insects.

  • Color Pattern

    The Eastern Phoebe is brownish-gray above and off-white below, with a dusky wash to the sides of the breast. The head is typically the darkest part of the upperparts. Birds in fresh fall plumage show faint yellow on the belly and whitish edging on the folded wing feathers.

  • Behavior

    The Eastern Phoebe generally perches low in trees or on fencelines. Phoebes are very active, making short flights to capture insects and very often returning to the same perch. They make sharp “peep” calls in addition to their familiar “phoebe” vocalizations. When perched, Eastern Phoebes wag their tails down and up frequently.

  • Habitat

    These birds favor open woods such as yards, parks, woodlands, and woodland edges. Phoebes usually breed around buildings or bridges on which they construct their nests under the protection of an eave or ledge.

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