Thursday, June 14, 2007

Chat Update

After a few additional visits since Saturday's pleasant discovery, I now know that there are two Yellow-breasted Chats on territory - probably a male and female pair and hopefully nesting. However, confirming breeding is apparently very difficult with this species. How uncommon would this be in Wisconsin? Just have a look at this Yellow-breasted Chat map from the Wisconsin Bird Breeding Atlas:

Naturally, I'm being extremely cautious around them and maintain a good distance during my observations. My photographer's desire to obtain super close-up images of a chat is great, but I remain on the trail (as always) and hope it will come closer to me on its own. When I sense it has taken notice of me I dutifully vacate the area, but most of the time the male chat sings away hidden within the oak trees about 50 yards from where I stand along the trail. I have no concept of this creature's interiority of what it feels and experiences, but I like to pretend by obliging in leaving that his fixed gaze from the branch is rendering its intended effect!

Yellow-breasted Chat image © 2007 Mike McDowell

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