SE Colorado Birding

Birding and discussion: A conservation-oriented birding blog that emphasizes low-impact birding and sustainable birding practices together with the enjoyment of birds. Southeast Colorado offers a diversity of habitats which provide premiere birding opportunities. Save Sabal Palm

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Willow Flycatchers

A late morning walk on the eastern half of the Canon City Riverwalk produced two Willow Flycatchers. I first heard a distant "fitz-bew" repeated a few times. Given the ability of mimics in the bird world to replicate calls, I wanted to confirm that these calls were indeed coming from a Willow Flycatcher.

It is unusual for any of the "empids", including the Willow, to call during migration. They usually give their calls when they get to their breeding grounds. And Willow Flycatcher has not been documented to breed here.

It took a bit to refind the location of the calls as they were on the other side of a wide irrigation ditch so I had to walk up the trail a ways to get to a cross-over. I did relocate the calling and finally saw one Willow Flycatcher. It became evident that two birds were calling and they did so fairly frequently but I could only find the one bird. I will recheck this area to see if these birds stay to breed.

I spent a bit of time today watching the pair of Black Phoebes at my friend's farm near Canon City. A few days ago I saw them carrying nesting material to a likely nest site and chasing each other. Today they appeared to be bringing food to the nest. I will check more closely to see what progress there is.

While walking at my friend's farm, I saw 9 Cedar Waxwings today. At dusk I saw 1 Common Nighthawk and 1 White-throated Swift. Also I watched a short-tailed bat flying over a irrigation ditch that apparently had a lot of insects.

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