Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Acadian Flycatcher on the Little Miami Bike Trail

I was about a quarter mile down the trail when this little Acadian Flycatcher caught my attention. His song burst through the trees, loud and short and familiar—practically demanding that I look for him! As I slowed and started focusing in the leaves of a tree just off the trail, he suddenly plopped down on a branch out in the open and started singing. A plain little bird that looks like so many others, there is no mistaking his song, especially when he tosses his head back to sing it.



When he sings he tosses his head high, and if you're standing
below, all you can see is that little yellow lower mandible.

In the summer, I hear Acadian Flycatchers all the time on the Little Miami Trail. The heavily wooded riverside path is their textbook-perfect breeding habitat. In this stretch of the trail, four small creeks tumble down the hillside and feed into the Little Miami River. Our little migrant was staking his claim very close to one of those feeders.

The sun was so intense on Saturday that as it filtered
through the green leaves it cast a green glow on the bird.

Acadian Flycatchers are fun little birds to watch because they often sit still for a few minutes, and that gives you ample time to study them (unlike those cute little warblers that seem to be here, there, and everywhere). Our fellow, in between singing and looking for bugs, liked to preen, and he was very good at it too, doing it a lot!

You can even see his lower yellow bill while he preens.
What a cutie!


No matter how tolerant a bird is to the clicking
of my camera shutter, every now and
then he still has to give me the eye!

25 comments:

HBFG said...

Those are very nice pictures, the colors are magical. The birds look interesting, so cute. :))

Sue said...

Sounds like you found the perfect birding spot! I'm envious..
Is the path paved, or is it crushed stone?

holdingmoments said...

Lovely little chap Kelly.
I'm seeing so many different birds when I come here, thanks. :)

Warren Baker said...

Well phtographed Kelly.
One of your flycatchers caused quite a ''twitch'' over here, when it was blown over!

Kelly said...

Farmgirl...thank you!

Sue...it's actually a bike path that runs along the Little Miami River so it's paved. The hillsides flanking the river are protected scenic land, so the mature woodland is saved from development (thank goodness).

Keith...thank you...I hope you see many more because that will mean I've found more! :-D

Warren...I just looked up the story and found it was a Willow or Alder Flycatcher they were looking for--both birds look just like the Acadian (only song and habitat are obvious in differences). Here is a clip from the article for others interested in what's happening in Cornwall:
The mass pilgrimage to Land's End in Cornwall was sparked after a reported sighting of one of two species of the distinctive bird. Birdwatchers believe it was either an alder flycatcher or a willow flycatcher which have never been recorded in Britain before. (http://www.thisiswesternmorningnews.co.uk/livingcornwall/Rare-North-American-flycatcher-gets-300-birdwatchers-twitching/article-392216-detail/article.html)

Jayne said...

The backdrop made for a perfect setting. What a cutie!

NatureStop said...

Our first visit to your blog and really liked what we saw.Will be following your blog:)

ShySongbird said...

Lovely photos again Kelly and what a pretty bird.

Ginnymo said...

What a cute little bird. Great photos Kelly!!!

Kelly said...

...thanks, Jayne!

Nature Stop...thank you for dropping by and thank you for going up. I visited your blog as well and you have some gorgeous birds there!

Songbird and Ginny....thank you!

Roy said...

Cool! I don't know if we get them around here; I'll have to look that up. We do get Great Crested Flycatchers, though. A friend told me where he'd found the nest, and when I was looking I heard the call (I'd looked it up in my field guide and knew approximately what it would sound like) and spotted one sitting in a branch in the next tree, I took some shots, but nothing came out. Oh well, at least now I know where he lives!

Kelly said...

...Roy...and you can go back and visit! I spotted a Great Crested Flycatcher at the rookery, but haven't seen him since...

Heather said...

This is great Kelly! What a cute little bird. I don't know my flycatcher songs/calls very well (except for Phoebe and Wood Peewee)... I'm convinced I've got 1 or 2 unnamed flycathers flying around in our woods, but they won't sit still long enough for me to see them!!! Maybe I'll spot some at the Wilds this weekend!

Annyara Polanco said...

This is beautiful!!! Just passing by to say hello and thank you for following my blog.

Kallen305 said...

Great pictures Kelly! The Miami Bike Trail sounds like a goldmine for birds based upon all of your wonderful bird finds there. LOVE your new profile picture!

Jenny said...

Great photos and informative post Kelly of one of your more subtle birds. Your empid flycatchers are somewhat like our warblers ID wise! Sometimes subtle differences and habitat and song give the main clues.

RuthieJ said...

Great shots Kelly! Now I'll know what to look for on my next trip to Beaver Creek Valley State Park!

Abe Lincoln said...

Golly. Your bike trail is 76 miles long. I just looked it up. I assume you just ride one section of it. Anyway, you are getting lots of nice bird shots on it. Our old bike trail from Trotwood to Verona is 13 miles but almost all farming fields on both sides. I have never seen a bird other than sparrows, buzzards circling or something like that.

I just learned from three different people today that my Northern Parula Warbler is, in fact, a Bay Breasted Warbler. So I had to change the title and thank the folks for their help. The home territory is way up north so I don't have a clue how I got it way down here. They seemed to think I was lucky.

Kelly said...

....Abe...you're right....it's 76 miles long, but no...I don't ride that distance. I walk a 2-mile stretch from the Powder Factory north towards Morrow. It has deep woodland and seems to attract the most birds. The four creeks seem to attract all the thrushes as well. One section drops off, so you look into the canopy a bit and is great for spotting Scarlet Tanagers.

The Early Birder said...

Thanks for showing me another 'new' Flycatcher Kelly.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

That's the kind of bird I would love---one that will sit still!!!! ha

That Acadian Flycatcher is a cute little bird, Kelly---and you got a great picture of him/them...

Hugs,
Betsy

Steve B said...

What a great little empid! Nice images.

Nature As Is said...

Yes I agree the little flycatcher is a cutie for sure nice shots Kelly.

Little Brown Job said...

Wonderful images Kelly!

behindthebins said...

Lovely shots! What a wonderful little bird. I haven't heard or see an Acadian for years. Our Empids are all Willow and Least.