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Western Wood-pewee | by ship rock
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Western Wood-pewee

Obviously, this is a gray bird with short legs - and that is just what the scientific name means - contopus meaning short legged, and sordidulus meaning dirty gray. So there! That's all you get from the Science.


But note as well the dark brown eye, the slight crest, the partially buttoned vest, the touch of dull orange at the base of the lower mandible and the two narrow, pale wing bars.


Range: open woodlands of western North America - west of the plains and only to modest elevations in the mountains. Saucer-shaped nest is at the forks in a flat branch; 1 brood; 3 eggs, white with lavender spots; incubation 13 days; fledging another 16 days; parenting by both adults. Winters over in the Andes, apparently.


The most likely place to spot them is perched on open branches mid-way up in the trees. They watch for flying insects - flies, bees, wasps, ants, beetles, moths, etc, - from such vantage points and are very adept at catching them on the wing. They even take a berry or two from time to time.


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Uploaded on June 4, 2018