On August 9th, I saw what must be a Western Kingbird on our property. I had the bird in my binoculars for quite long enough to get a good description, though just from the front,

Western Kingbird - Wikimedia

Western Kingbird – Wikimedia

I thought at first it must be a phoebe – they regularly nest next door – but it was too big. It had a black bill, a black eye, and a light grey head, but what was interesting was the neck and breast. The neck was also a light grey, but the grey also came down a little onto the upper chest which was a pale yellow. That really surprised me. The grey almost seemed like a watercolour wash as it faded into the yellow – there was no distinct line between the grey and the pale yellow. The bird’s stance was upright as it perched on a tree branch, with a longish tail. Unfortunately I didn’t get a good view of the tail as it flew off, so I can’t say if it had the distinct white edging on the tail feathers. From what little I’ve read – I still prefer books to checking online! – this bird occasionally makes it way eastward from its regular territory. Can you confirm than anyone else has seen this bird? I don’t think I’m dreaming!

Stephenie Armstrong, Warsaw

Note: On August 26, 2013, Dave Milson saw a Western Kingbird in his backyard on Scollard Drive in Peterborough.  The bird was gone the next morning, however. As far as I know, Stephenie’s is the only sighting this summer of a Western Kingbird in our area.

Drew Monkman

I am a retired teacher, naturalist and writer with a love for all aspects of the natural world, especially as they relate to seasonal change.