Eastern Kingbird eating Sumac berries at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 16, 2017

I came across a pair of Eastern Kingbirds today eating sumac berries at Lake Park in Milwaukee. Some Gray Catbirds enjoyed the berries too along with some American Robins. These few Sumac plants at the park have been a food source for some many bird species this year it is amazing. It looked like to me these plants have plenty of food remaining on them too. Just part of a fun day out birding looking for warblers which there were some all over, but hard to get the list real big on the species you would expect to see this time of year. A cool start to the day but come noon it was hot out with good winds from the south. Mostly sunny skies, high was around 88 degrees. Images were taken on May 16, 2017.

Eastern Kingbird with a sumac berry…

Eastern Kingbird

Binomial name: Tyrannus tyrannus

Category: Tyrant Flycatchers

Size: 8.5” long, 15” wing span

Weight: 1.4 oz

Getting something good here…

Just posing…

Stabilizing after a gust of wind…

Gulp!

Maybe the most common pose we see the Eastern Kingbird in…

 

Great Crested Flycatcher bringing food to the nest hole in Walworth County Wisconsin on June 21, 2016

My day started out meeting up with Anne Moretti and birding at the Beulah Bog in Walworth County. We tried for the White-eyed Vireo and heard it well but just could not get looks at it. I had tried the day before too and heard it numerous times, sometimes very close by but just could not get looks at this bird. It was a great experience birding with Anne as she can just walk down the path and call out all the birds on both sides, it was a first for me experience at that. Her hearing is just incredible along with the knowledge of bird calls. It amazed me! I know other birders do this, and common in the birding world, it was just a great experience. From there I photographed a Great Crested Flycatcher bringing food to the nest hole. For the most part it captured dragonfly species and Mayflies. Once it captured a Admiral Butterfly and perched on a nearby tree limb as it is typical of what it does before it enters the nest hole. The butterfly struggled to get away, still alive, for fear it would lose the butterfly the flycatcher just ate butterfly, pretty cool to see. Some caterpillars were also brought in. The birds tail each time when feeding the young stuck out of the nest hole just a little bit so the young must pretty far down in the nest hole yet. Some Gray Catbirds gave the flycatchers some grief on occasion near the nest hole tree but nothing amounted to anything. Images were taken on June 21, 2016.

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Great Crested Flycatcher with a Prince Baskettail

Great Crested Flycatcher

Binomial name: Myiarchus crinitus

Category: Tyrant Flycatchers

Size: 8.75” long, 13” wing span

Weight: 1.2 oz

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Great Crested Flycatcher with a Prince Baskettail

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Great Crested Flycatcher nest hole

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Great Crested Flycatcher with insect

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An adult feeding young in the nest hole

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Great Crested Flycatcher with a Admiral Butterfly. It ate this butterfly before making it to the nest hole as it appeared it may slip away as it was still alive and it looked like it might get away.

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Great Crested Flycatcher with a Prince Baskettail

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Great Crested Flycatcher with a dragonfly species

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Great Crested Flycatcher going down the branch on the way to the nest hole

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Great Crested Flycatcher going down the branch closer to the nest hole

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Great Crested Flycatcher just before it leaves the nest hole after feeding, looks around, all points clear!

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Great Crested Flycatcher with a dragonfly

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Great Crested Flycatcher with something

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Leaving the nest hole after feeding the young

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Great Crested Flycatcher with something

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Great Crested Flycatcher with insects

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Great Crested Flycatcher with a Mayfly

Great Crested Flycatcher with a Twelve-spotted Skimmer

Great Crested Flycatcher with a Prince Baskettail

Great Crested Flycatcher with a dragonfly

Great Crested Flycatcher with a dragonfly

Great Crested Flycatcher with a drogonfly

Great Crested Flycatcher with a dragonfly

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Admiral Butterfly that does not get away series, not the sharpest images…

 

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Just after catching the Admiral Butterfly the Great Crested Flycatcher perches near the nest hole

The struggle continues as the butterfly tries to get away

The struggle continues as the butterfly tries to get away

And continues...

And continues…

And continues...

And continues…

And continues...

And continues…

And continues...

And continues…

And continues...

And continues…

One the way down...

One the way down…

And...

And…

And...

And…

Gone!!

Gone!!

Say’s Phoebe at Goose Lake Park in Dane County Wisconsin on March 29, 2016

I woke up and decided at that time to try for the Say’s Phoebe that was found yesterday at Goose Lake Park in Dane County. I figured a bird like this would be a one day wonder, but being so rare for Wisconsin, a bird from the western US,  and nothing else going on today, try for it. I was told it is a 5th Wisconsin state record today. Traffic was horrible around Madison but I finally arrived about 8:30 to about a dozen birders that already looked like it was going to be a long day! A few birders had split off and had been doing some looking around  in other areas. It was pretty cool out and I actually went back to my car for my big winter coat. When returning to an area where some birders were grouped up they all took off running, well most of them! I knew at that time things my be getting good, that might have been seen. Michael Gray had just located the bird straight south of the short grass area, along ways off, thanks Michael! After a good run, there the bird was feeding and resting, just like a flycatcher does. It is a very big area and moved around a lot and never really came close to anyone. What an exciting morning getting another life bird and seeing some birders I have not seen for awhile! Thanks to Jim Schwarz for finding this bird and getting the word out for others to see it. I hope it hangs around awhile for others to see. Images were taken on March 29, 2016.

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Say’s Phoebe

Binomial name: Sayornis saya

Category: Tyrant Flycatchers

Size: 7” long, 13” wing span

Weight: 0.74 oz

Cool fact: Western US bird found here in Wisconsin. Normal Range is western Dakota’s south to western Texas and west.

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Hunting!

Hunting!

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Western Kingbird at Warnimont Park in Cudahy Wisconsin on November 3, 2015

I headed to Warnimont Park early this morning in hopes to see the recently reported Western  Kingbird. The bird is a uncommon visitor to the state. I arrived just after sunrise and David F was doing some looking around for the bird. Judith and Rita arrived shortly there after. We all looked the bluff over well and parts of the golf course too. After about 30 minutes I spotted the Western Kingbird coming from the bluff off the east end of the parking lot. It landed on the top of a large deciduous tree just south of the parking lot. From there the bird continually forged on the bluff edge and the golf course. The bird appeared to find many insects to eat with the warm weather. It gave nice views to many birders that came and went in the couple hours I was present. At one point the bird regurgitated some berries which was interesting. The bird mostly hung around the area from the old gun club building to the parking lot on the north end of the golf course. This bird is said to be a different Western Kingbird than the one that most of us saw at the Milwaukee Community Garden in mid October. Thanks to Bill M for finding this uncommon bird for the area getting the word out for others to see. Thanks to Jen too for her great post and to other who gave updates on this bird yesterday. A fun morning out with some great birding friends. Images were taken on November 3, 2015.

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Western Kingbird

Binomial name: Tyrannus verticalis

Category: Tyrant Flycatchers

Size: 8.75” long, 15.5” wing span

Weight: 1.4 Oz

Natural range: The natural breeding range for this species is western Minnesota west almost to the Pacific Ocean, southern Texas north to lower Canada. Winters in Mexico and south.

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Blurry back shot

Blurry back shot

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at the Milwaukee Coast Guard Impoundment on October 25, 2015

I made a run early morning down to the Milwaukee Coast Guard Impoundment with hopes to see the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher that was reported yesterday. This uncommon bird for Wisconsin is a common bird in the state of Kansas and south to southern Texas in summer. A few other birders also showed up as the sun came up. We sort of split up after a couple minutes and moments later James F. had located the bird just north of the large wind turbine on a wire. From there the bird pretty much continually forged and ate insects for the few hours I was there in a loop of a freeway ramp. It mainly remained a distance off, but we all really enjoyed the show it put on every time it went for an insect. At the end, it took flight over some tracks and headed south to who knows. It was said today, this is a male bird by the length of the tail, it is very long. One dog walker asked what bird we were looking at, we showed her on the camera and her remark was, that bird was here last year same time. I could not ID it she said, but it had that big long tail! A fun morning out with some great birders and friends. Not a life bird for me as I got the one in Mequon a couple years back. Thanks to Karen M for finding this bird on a routine check in the area and reporting it for others to see. Images were taken on October 25, 2015.

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Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Binomial name: Tyrannus forficatus

Category: Tyrant Flycatchers

Size: 15” long, 14”-15.5″ wing span

Weight: 1.5 oz

Just after a try for an insect

Just after a try for an insect

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Perched high in a tree

Look at those tail feathers!

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Scissor-tail

Here it was a little agitated as some Dark-eyed Juncos had just enter the tree below the bird

Here it was a little agitated as some Dark-eyed Juncos had just enter the tree below the bird

Early morning sun high in the tree

Early morning sun high in a tree

Early morning sun high in the tree

Early morning sun high in a tree

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Early morning sun high in the tree

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Scissor-tailed Flycatcher still hanging around. Images below taken November 1, 2015 at the Lake Express Ferry in Milwaukee Wisconsin

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With grasshopper

With grasshopper

With grasshopper

With grasshopper

Western Kingbird at the Milwaukee Community Garden on October 14, 2015

Making another drive in Milwaukee with hopes of seeing the rare Western Kingbird today was rewarding. This was my 3rd try for this very rare and elusive vagrant for the state of Wisconsin. For some birders it was their 5th try! The bird first found by Tom W on October 9th has kept birders coming and going at this hot spot in Milwaukee County Wisconsin. As birders came and went this morning a few of us were fortunate to be there at the right time. As a hand full of us stood right after the sharp curve on the gravel road going north and I was standing next to Jym M, he says, there is our bird! It had just landed in a one of the taller deciduous leafless trees looking north. It only hung around for a minute or two, then flew southwest out of sight. What an exciting few minutes it was and a state life bird for me. Thanks to Tom W for the first sighting report and those who have kept updated reports on it few showings there. Bird showed at 10:56 am. Images were taken on October 14, 2015.

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Western Kingbird

Binomial name: Tyrannus verticalis

Category: Tyrant Flycatchers

Size: 8.75” long, 15.5” wing span

Weight: 1.4 Oz

Natural range: The natural breeding range for this species is western Minnesota west almost to the Pacific Ocean, southern Texas north to lower Canada. Winters in Mexico and south.

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