Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 63

periods, with an estimated 138,000 singing males.
Acadian flycatchers now are the most
common, breeding empid in Pennsylvania. Their loud, explosive pit-see call is
unmistakable once you hear it. However,
I'd been hearing it for several years in our
north-facing hollow and thought it was
an alarm call of another songbird. Then,
on May 22, 1994, as I led a field trip
along our hollow road for our Audubon
group, Stan Kotala identified the caller
as an Acadian flycatcher. Once I knew
the call, I also heard it in the large oaks
where we built our exclosure in 2001.
On May 22, 1995, the first Acadian
was back and singing and, on June 12,
as I walked our hollow road, an Acadian
started scolding me. I followed it with
my binoculars and saw it go to a nest
hanging from the end of an American
beech branch, 70 feet from the ground. It
was a new breeding species for our property and for Blair County and suited its
described behavior of inhabiting woodlands near streams, where it frequently
builds in the pendant branches of a beech.
Acadians re-established their range
in Pennsylvania and other eastern states
in the early 1900s after a long absence,
probably due to 19th century deforestation, because Acadians breed in lowland,
old-growth forests near streams, especially narrow, hemlock-lined ravines.
They prefer a closed canopy and an
open to moderate understory, but farther
south, they breed in deciduous forestland
and bald cypress groves.
Pennsylvania is near the northern
limit of their population, which ranges
west to Nebraska and Texas and south to
the Gulf Coast and central Florida. They
breed in most of south, central and northwestern Pennsylvania, with a 30 percent
MAY 2021	

increase from the first through second
atlasing period and an estimated 149,000
singing males. By late July, until the
third week in September, they begin migrating south to their wintering grounds
in south Central America and northern
South America.
The least common of the empids here
are yellow-bellied flycatchers. Breeding
across Canada to southern Minnesota
and northern Pennsylvania, these shy
birds hide in dense thickets during migration and rarely sing. They breed at
elevations from 1,660 to 2,250 feet in
bogs and open swamps with sphagnum
moss and scattered canopy deciduous
and conifer trees and build nests on the
ground on sphagnum hummocks hidden
by shrubs or ferns. They sing killink, and
call chu-wee from prominent perches.
Once thought extirpated in Pennsylvania after nesting in the Mount Pocono area during the early 20th century,
Douglas A. Gross in 1980 found an adult
yellow-bellied with young in a Sullivan
County hemlock grove, the first confirmed nesting here in 42 years. They
breed as early as May 24, but also as late
as June 20. The nest Gross found fledged
young on June 23, but the male continued feeding them until July 7. Gross later
found that a few pairs double-brooded
with new nests as late as Aug. 2.
Today, a few breed mostly on North
Mountain in Sullivan and western Wyoming counties and have been listed as
state-endangered by the Pennsylvania
Game Commission.
Mark recorded the incessant calling
of a yellow-bellied that he saw below our
Greenbrier Trail last May 20 in the early
morning, proving again that May is the
premier month for hearing the songs and
calls of those darn empids. Don't miss
your chance!
63



Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - Intro
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 8
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Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 11
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Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 21
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Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2021 - Cover4
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