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

Monday, July 02, 2007

Ash-throated Flycatcher nesting in pine stub

I was delighted to find a pair of Ash-throated Flycatchers in the San Isabel National Forest in Custer Co that had a nest in a tree stub. Interestingly, this is in a ponderosa pine forest which is an unusual location for them to breed according to the Colorado Breeding Bird Atlas-I which noted that most were found nesting in pinyon-juniper.

In the bottom pic it is obvious that the bird has a very large insect (looks like a member of the odonata family, probably a dragonfly) in it's beak--I took this pic right before it flew into the nest stub to feed it's nestlings. The bird in the top pic also has an insect, but a smaller one, that it is getting ready to feed it's nestlings also. On one occasion I saw the second flycatcher fly into the nest cavity with the first flycatcher already there--it didn't stay long.

Though it's not possible to tell which is the male and which is the female, both stayed near the nest and it is reported that both feed the nestlings. I observed that there was an adult flying into the nest cavity every few minutes. At one point one of the adults flew out with what looked like a fecal sack.

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