Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wondering Wednesday

Magic HedgeI saw this bird last weekend in the Chicago-land Area.

I'm sure it is a flycatcher. But what kind?

There are so many similar looking flycatchers in the field guides.

This bright patch of sunshine colored blossoms
supplied a jungle of delicious bugs and larvae.
It kept this flycatcher very busy.

I saw what I think is the same bird in several different spots on my walk.
This one was happy under the canopy of green leaves.

Here assessing my presence ... deciding I was not a threat.

Eyes peeled continually searching on and under leaves.

Here the pause ....

then the preen and fluff.

A fence at the woodland edge leads to a smorgasbord of potential bugs
in an overgrown field of weeds and prairie plants. It was just a small piece of
the beautiful view this flycatcher and I enjoyed today at Magic Hedge.

I am wondering this fine Wednesday if anyone can help
me identify this beautiful flycatcher?

Other beautiful birds I saw on this visit to Magic Hedge
  • American Goldfinch
  • Catbird
  • Black and White Warbler
  • American Redstart
  • Ovenbird
  • Magnolia Warbler
  • Common Yellow-throat
  • Sparrows (I will ask for ID help on)
  • Winter Wren (I think)
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Many regulars including a Robin that stood on one leg to get my attention ... competition.


  1. Beautiful compositions! Gorgeous photos! I am guessing a Least Flycatcher but I always have difficulties identifying flycatchers. I am not sure but photos 5, 6 & 7 might be a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Sounds like you had a wonderful day at The Magic Hedge. I look forward to birding & photographing with you there in June! Great post!

  2. Beautiful, artful series of flycatcher pics, Debbie!

  3. Hi Debbie, i agree the mid pics looks like a ruby crowned kinglet, smaller body and shorter thinner bill. i think with some of the flycatchers, if you heard the song, that might help you the most. Least or Yellowbellied are possibilities; but i am poor at their id. super pictures tho :)


  4. I too think it is a ruby crowned kinglet.I was comparing photos in my book and on the internet.

    I looked at the phoebe, it has an eye ring too, and has the right bill but the body isn't as round. I also looked at the Least Flycatcher. Mother's day on the photowalk we saw a ruby crowned kinglet, but I only got a pic with little detail.

  5. Debbie, I believe this is an Eastern Wood-Pewee. A very nice series of shots. Definitely a magic hedge. You had a very great birding day at the hedge.

  6. Tell ya what- when I come to Illinois we can go to Magic Hedge - when you come to Michigan we can go to Shiawasee (

  7. Thank you everyone for the ID help and kind comments on these birds. It is very much appreciated! :)

    Between post comments and twitter friends, everyone agrees that the middle grouping is a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. I find that very interesting because it was my first instinct. I talked myself right out of it when I saw the flycatcher and started looking for possibilities in my field guide. Note to self. Listen to first instincts often they are correct.
    It seems that the flycatcher could be a Least, Yellow-bellied or Eastern Wood-Pewee. Majority from post comments and twitter leans toward Least Flycatcher.

    I was amazed by my lack of discrimination skills as I fingered through my field guides to identify this flycatcher. They really all looked so similar. I was having difficulty finding a difference. Details Debbie! I need to work on that.

    Mary Jo, I am excited to hear you will be in town this weekend! Magic Hedge is wonderful you will love it. I hear the winds are favorable for this weekends migrants. We should have a great day birding. See you soon!

    Julie, thank you so much, it really was a wonderful day! I look forward to our June outing as well :)

    Tracy, The mother's day walk sounds like it was wonderful. Shame I had to miss it. Hoping there will be another walk soon. Pete is a wonderful guide.

  8. Pewees and Empids can certainly be tough, but with a good enough look (and great photos) you can make the distinction.

    You can see the very short wing projection in several of the early photos, note the tips barely come down to the base of the tail! Pewees have much longer wings extending up to half-way down the length of the tail. That and the big-eyed, small featured "cute" face and the grayish color point towards Least Flycatcher.

    Great photos!

  9. Nate, Yes I see what you mean about the wings, and definetely a "cute" face on this one. I really appreciate your help and comment. Thank you.