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Discovery by Sketch

Chasing Olive-sided Flycatchers

“Quick, three beers!” I hear the unique call of the Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi) long before I see the nest overlooking a wet and spruce scraggled meadow. Looking for the hunter, I scan the tops of nearby lanky snags. At last, a flash of black. One of the parents swoops out of nowhere, and with a beak full of dragonfly, drops down to the chick waiting amidst a tangle of sticks and moss.


Most summers since 2016, I spend some amount of June with Catherine Pohl (Catherine Pohl Biological Consulting) in the edges between forest and muskeg, often near burbling, buggy creeks. We're documenting the return to Northeast Chichagof Island of nesting Olive-sided Flycatchers. Cathy attaches geolocators to individual birds to track their migration and adult survival. I carry gear, help her net the birds, and serve as extra eyes watching for bears.  

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