Bird #228 — Olive-sided Flycatcher

contopus (from kontos, short, and pous, foot) borealis (northern)

Saturday, May 29, 1982 — 1:30 pm

McNaughton, Wisconsin — Fort Wilderness

Sally and I walked to Fort Wilderness.  We were near the horse corral when I spotted an Olive-sided Flycatcher on the top of a tall, dead birch trunk in the corral.  It flew to the top of a dead birch near the barn then off out of sight.  I next saw it in the top of a birch in front of the barn with a large dragonfly in its bill.  It swallowed the dragonfly with difficulty, looked around for a while, then took off over the nearby woods.

I didn’t hear it sing, but I did see the white tufts below its wings.  It was larger than an empidonax, with a dark gray/green back and head, and a large bill.  It had a white throat and a smeary gray chest with a white streak down the center.

The barn and corral at Fort Wilderness are right at the edge of the American Legion State Forest.  The corral had a grove of birches, but the horses have eaten all the bark off, and only straight dead trunks remain.

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