Thursday, January 26, 2017

Species Spotlight: Black Meadowhawk

A Black Meadowhawk sounds a bit like an oxymoron. After all, the other meadowhawks in our area are red. In fact, being red is almost a defining characteristic of the meadowhawks—with the exception of the Black Meadowhawk.

The Black Meadowhawk is quite small and dainty, and is easy to miss. It often perches on the damp, dark ground near the shore, where it blends in splendidly. It can also be a bit fidgety and hard to approach.

Here's a male showing off from a prominent perch above the ground.

Notice that the body of the Black Meadowhawk isn't a deep, dark black, as in an American Emerald or a Dot-tailed Whiteface. The body of this species is a dull black, with a number of dark yellow spots as well.

Here's a side view, showing the hamules quite clearly.

The next photo shows the yellow spots and clear wings.

Females are more yellowish in overall color, and even more difficult to spot when perched.

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