Fall 2005
Pictorial Highlights
August 16-September 4

1.  Blacker (than gray) legs = Least or "Traill's
                     Grayer (than black) legs = Acadian or Yellow-bellied

In the photo below, the grayish legs and feet on the left belong to a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher;
the blackish ones on the right to a Least Flycatcher.

While we certainly never rule out the possibility of encountering a rare western Empidonax species,
using the above two criteria, most individuals of the common eastern species will show the following species-specific combination of leg color and P6 emargination:

First was this HY-U Warbling Vireo
  • Next, an HY-U Pine Siskin that constituted the earliest fall capture ever of this species at Powdermill.  Migrant siskins usually do not make their first appearance here until October, so it is very possible that this bird was the product of a local nesting.  Historically, Pine Siskin have nested primarily in northern Pennsylvania, but widely scattered nesting attempts (usually unsuccessful) have been observed in the vicinity of Powdermill (in the mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania) over the last twenty years.   This year, at least one pair nested successfully in some tall spruces at the home of Powdermill's own Mike Lanzone and Trish Miller, just a short distance from the banding lab.  The bird pictured here may well have been a product of that local nesting, rather than a very early migrant.

  • and although we didn't succeed in catching the adult male American Redstart and Indigo Bunting that were high on his wish list, we did catch plenty of Hooded Warblers, which turned out to be his favorite anyway.

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    Last Updated on 09/08/05
    By Adrienne J. Leppold