Birding Notes

Reflections on birds and other wildlife on the edge of a southern woodland

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Eastern Wood-Pewee

About 9:30 today, a warm, sunny morning, I heard the song of an Eastern Wood-Pewee from down the street. As I listened, it came closer and closer, until it sounded as if it was in the neighbors’ yard. I walked in that direction, to our driveway, and to my amazement it flew onto a low-hanging branch of a pecan tree almost right in front of me, only about 10 feet away, like a little gray shadow coming to life. There, it gave again its clear, whistled song – pity-a-wee – wheee-oo. It perched there for three or four minutes, turning its head sharply in one direction and then in another, flying up to catch an insect once or twice and returning to the same branch, and singing several times. I was close enough to see the orange of the lower bill, and its dark tip. Its coloring was a drab gray, with blurry-white wing bars, nothing to catch the eye. But it looked alert and busy, and did not stay long. It flew back down the street in the same direction from which it had come, as if it had just come by to sing for me for a few minutes.

It’s only the second time this season I’ve heard or seen an Eastern Wood-Pewee here. But I think it must be nesting somewhere in the neighborhood, or not far away, since it’s still here at this time of June.

Around the same time this morning – a quiet, peaceful summer morning with the songs of Cicadas in the background, small orange butterflies in the lantana and a male Bluebird hunting for insects in the grass – a Scarlet Tanager, Summer Tanager, Red-eyed Vireo, Pine Warbler, Northern Parula, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Phoebe, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Great-crested Flycatcher, Eastern Towhee, Cardinal, Titmouse, Goldfinch and Carolina Wren also were singing or calling – not all at once, but here and there. A Crow flew over with a Mockingbird chasing after it, rasping harshly.


Post a Comment

<< Home