Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bird a Day: Eastern Wood Pewee

The Eastern Wood Pewee is a fairly common bird in the deciduous forests of eastern North America.  They belong to the flycatcher family Tyrannidae.  This bird was living up to his name when I found him.  There were many small gnats flying in swarms in the air and this pewee was flying quick out into the swarms, doing some acrobatics to catch a gnat, and then coming back to another branch and doing it all over again.  They are one of many birds that were named after the song they sing.  The Eastern Wood Pewee's song is a rising "pe-ah-wee" followed by a downward "wee-ur".  Eastern Wood Pewee's are declining in eastern forests and it may be due to the overpopulation of White-tailed Deer.  Deer are over-browsing the understory and intermediate canopy, leaving little habitat for this bird and many other species of animals.

Eastern Wood Peewee

Eastern Wood Peewee

Identification of the Eastern Wood Pewee can be tough for those unfamiliar with the flycatchers.  Most flycatchers are the same dull brownish-gray color, but the pewee is larger than other similar flycatchers like the Acadian and Least.  The pewee has two whitish wing bars, a dark wash on the sides under the wings, and no eyering.  You most likely would be able to identify it by song before you even saw the bird anyway, which is a good reason to brush up on your bird songs.


Fotokarusellen said...

What a beautiful bird and image. Great color and light. Wonderful!

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