It certainly was a Wood-Pewee, but which one? They are virtually identical; well at least they are to me.
One morning, the bird was back out fly-catching from a favoured spot on a utility wire to my house. I watched, and then heard a clear, sweet peee'yer. Exactly the same sound as the first part of the usual two-part Eastern's song.
And to be 'sure', I listened to several versions of the Western's song on various bird sound CDs and on-line sources. Very different sounds, quite burry and more robust.
All right! My bird is an Eastern!
The bird continued to fly-catch around my yard, but less frequently and I began to hear a distinctly burry "whjeeeer" in the distance of a neighbour's yard when the bird wasn't present in mine. Okay, that is a Western Wood-Pewee singing.
Could both species be here? Yes, I live in the over-lap part of their ranges, in the SE corner of Saskatchewan. I often see and hear the Eastern bird down along the river. The Westerns....not often right in this area.
See range maps below.
This morning, thinking I should really do something or other with this blog post (I had loaded the photos last week), I pulled out one of my many field guides just to have another consideration of my little mystery bird. And there, at the bottom of the description of the Western Wood-Pewee, Ted Floyd has remarked in the Smithsonian Field Guide to the Birds of North America:
Song generally distinct from Eastern; a down-slurred jeeer, much harsher than Eastern. At any time of year, can give sweet peeya notes, recalling Eastern (my underscore emphasis).So, I think my little bird above is a Western Wood-Pewee....or not.....could be two different birds, but I don't think so. Frankly, I don't recall having either one as yard birds before.
All the fly-catchers give me a headache!
Range Maps (courtesy of All About Birds)
All About Birds
Smithsonian Field Guide to the Birds of North America