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  • Lise
    So looking forward to learning more about birds!  I've been a "bird feeder bird watcher" for many years, and have tried to identify all of the birds I see around our property, located in a riparian area in Oregon's Willamette Valley . . . but there is one that has really stumped me.  I've only seen them in the early morning--by 8:00 or 8:30 at the very latest, they're all gone.  I've never gotten a good look at them because I don't have binoculars (yet!) and they are too far away to see well; but what I have seen is:  about the size of a robin (maybe a bit smaller); with a pale (possibly yellow or chartreuse?) breast, mottled dark brown or black and white back/wings/tail.  Their most distinctive trait is their behavior:  they make short, diving/swooping flights over the river, apparently scooping up the hordes of small insects that hover in clouds over the water, and finish each flight by perching briefly on a tree limb or downed trunk, usually quite a bit higher than the river surface.  Quite a few will be feeding (?) like this at a time, but they don't hunt cooperatively:  it's every bird for him/herself!  After reading this lesson I wonder if it's some type of flycatcher?  I haven't been able to detect any song or characteristic call.  Any ideas?  I just downloaded Merlin, but I can't get close enough for a photo and ditto for bird calls.
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