Bird #429 — Western Wood-Pewee

contopus (from kontos, short, and pous, foot) sordidulus (dirty, unkempt)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 — 4:25 pm

Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon — Eagle Creek

I wonder what the story is behind that Latin name?

We walked down the Wauna Viewpoint Trail, crossed the bridge over Eagle Creek and headed down the road toward our car. I spotted this Western Wood-Pewee hawking insects in the bushes and small trees across the creek. It looked much like an Eastern Wood-Pewee, perhaps a bit darker gray. It had a long tail, no eye ring and faint wingbars. It didn’t stay long in any one place. I watched it flit around for a couple minutes, then lost track of it when I was distracted by a female Merganser (probably a Common Merganser, but I’m not sure) that flew down the creek.

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