Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pewee Circus

When the weather is nice, Chris, Miranda and I like to to eat our lunch at one of the picnic tables located outside our Activity Center. For about a month, a few Eastern Wood Pewees have been entertaining us at lunch, flitting about and catching bugs in mid-air. I love hearing their "Pee-ah-wee" calls.

Here is a shot of one of our pewees. He is a little camera shy and doesn't care for the paparazzi. Here is a better shot of the Eastern Wood Pewee from Cornell Lab of Ornithology's site. They are fascinating to watch, dipping low to scoop up a bug, then flipping around to land on a nearby branch. On one occasion, I was walking across the lawn and apparently had kicked up some bugs. The three were swirling around me picking the bugs up left and right. It was so much fun to watch them!
Like an acrobat on the trapeze, this pewee is diving down to snatch a tasty morsel. It was so quick, I only got a blurry shot off.
Why are they hanging around in this area near the building? Eastern Wood Pewees are in the flycatcher family, Tyrannidae, and their diet consists of flying insects. My thoughts are they are here because we have planted a few butterfly beds with native wildflowers. The flowers attract all kinds of insects and the birds are after the bugs. Build it and they will come.
Another theory: Chris likes to kick off his shoes at lunch. Maybe that is why there are so many bugs! :)
And for the finale today one showed Chris its utmost appreciation. It sat above us on a branch, teed up just right, and let one fly. The poo almost hit me and landed right on Chris's arm and folder. Oops!

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