Friday, April 10, 2009

September Birding at Carpenter Nature Center

Last year it seemed to be a good year for spotting olive-sided flycatchers, at least for me it was.
In August I spotted them on several different visits at the Maplewood Nature Center.
At the beginning of September, 9-6, I spotted this bird hunting at the Carpenter Nature Center.
Since we are not really in their range, during the summer they are found in much of Canada and Alaska as well as the western third of the US and they winter in South America, it is not a bird that we typically see during the summer.
They do migrate through the area but August and early September seems a bit early for migration.
Olive-sided flycatchers live in boreal and conifer forest, during the summer, often near to openings such as fields.
They can often be found in burned forests where there is plenty of open space and dead snags to hunt from.
This olive-sided flycatcher was hunting from a dead snag that sits next to the open fields near the Administration Building at CNC
They hunt for flying insects, catching them in the air.
Bees are one of their favorite prey and as you can see in this series this olive-sided flycatcher was successful in catching a yellow jacket.
This species is currently one of special concern due to declines in population through out its range. Since 1966 the population has declined by 67%.
The main reason for the decline is believed to be habitat loss in its wintering ground. In many South American countries forests are being lost to urban and agricultural areas.
The olive-sided flycatcher was not the only predator that I saw on my visit to CNC in September, a red-tailed hawk was also on the look out for lunch.
While red-tailed hawks will eat other birds, the flycatcher was pretty safe because the red-tail seemed more intent on scanning the ground for rodents, their typical prey, then checking out the busy flycatcher.

3 comments:

madcobug said...

That flycatcher is a beautiful little bird. Cute picture with the yellowjacket in it's mouth. We don't see those around here but we do have the Red tailed hawk. Helen

Babooshka said...

I am just blown away by your the variety of birds you capture.

Tulip said...

great captured of birds. happy earter!