Wondrous Warblers (part 2)

So far we have been lucky that the leaves have been slower to mature than the warblers have been anxious to migrate.  Each day I wander around a new area, hoping to get that prize-winning photo of the best warbler yet…

This morning was terrific for seeing a high species diversity, but was the poorest light (cloudy overcast) and most leafy interference, making it poor for photography.  Nevertheless I saw 15 warbler species in about 3 hours. But 90% of the birds I saw were Yellow-rumped Warblers, which have turned out to be more numerous than Starlings on fall migration.

American Redstart males are teases.  They sing right in your face, and fly off when you raise the camera.  That, and the fact that they don't sit still makes it tough to get a good photo (see someone else's photo for more detail below)

American Redstart males are teases. They sing right in your face, and fly off when you raise the camera. That, and the fact that they don’t sit still makes it tough to get a good photo (see someone else’s photo for more detail below)

The photo I wished I had taken (by Dan Pancamo)

The photo I wished I had taken (by Dan Pancamo on Wikimedia Commons).  This bird is like a miniature oriole with its vibrant black and orange coloration.

One of the more handsome warblers with its bright gold crest, black and white head, and chesnut sides (finally a warbler that has a logical name).

One of the more handsome warblers with its bright gold crest, black and white head, and chestnut sides (finally a warbler that has a logical name — Chestnut-sided Warbler).  Believe it or not, this warbler is thought to be most closely related to Yellow Warblers.

You only get 1.5 seconds to focus on a warbler.  This was a lucky shot.

You only get 1.5 seconds to focus on a warbler. This was a lucky shot.  Chestnut-sided Warblers prefer habitat with second growth vegetation, where the large mature trees have been removed.   Like this bird, they may forage closer to human eye-level, instead of the tree tops, making them easier to photograph.

Yellow warblers with olive green backs all look alike, until you see where the black markings are located.  This Wilson's Warbler is notable for his little black cap and black eyering.

Yellow warblers with olive green backs all look alike, until you see where the black markings are located. This Wilson’s Warbler is notable for his little black cap and black eye-ring.  They would only pose for me behind sticks!

A better shot of the warbler's whole body, accompanied by "the stick"

A better shot of the warbler’s whole body, accompanied by “the stick”.   These warblers were foraging in a mixed flock with the Yellow-rumped Warblers, but stuck to lower vegetation to avoid competing with the Yellow-rumps.

This one gets the "cuteness" award -- Common Yellowthroat, which poses on branches now and then, but prefers to dig around in the tall grass for bugs.

This one gets the “cuteness” award — a Common Yellowthroat, which poses on branches now and then, but prefers to dig around in the tall grass for bugs.

More commonly, the Yellowthroat is found in low vegetation, searching under fallen debris for its hidden meal.

More commonly, the Yellowthroat is found in low vegetation, searching under fallen debris for its hidden meal.

Palm Warblers were commonly found in grassy, prairie areas last week, but are much more scarce now.  Perhaps they flew north with the last big front that came through.

Palm Warblers were commonly seen in grassy, prairie areas last week.  In fact, they outnumbered the sparrows foraging in the same grassy areas.  They are much more scarce this week, so perhaps they flew north with the last big front that came through.

Yellow Warblers

Yellow Warblers are everywhere lately — at the pond’s edge, in the forest, even in parking lots.  Their bright yellow color with red-brown streaks down the belly make them easy to spot.

10 thoughts on “Wondrous Warblers (part 2)

  1. Fantastic photos, Sue. If I ever saw that many in my backyard, even over the course of a week, I would be ecstatic! Our warblers have passed on through, except for a few that breed here (Parulas, Common Yellowthroat). Reckon they are on their way to YOUR yard, unless they are already there. Great post!

    • Parula — now that is one I have been waiting to see, along with the Blackburnian and Blue-winged. Funny thing is, the minute I got home today, the sun came back out!

      • It is the daintiest little bird, and very beautiful. They nest here, in hanging clusters of Spanish moss, kind of like miniature oriole nests, and at my last house, they came to my birdbath every day. It was fun to watch them, because their method of bathing is quite unusual for a tiny bird. They perch on the side of the bowl, studying the water a minute, then leap into the middle, completely submerging themselves, then pop back out again to preen on the rim. And they’ll do this repeatedly, until they decide they are clean enough. I’d never seen a small passerine bird of any kind willing submerge itself in water, over its head before. Have you? I’d love to know if it is as uncommon as I suspect, and you know so much about bird behavior, maybe you’ve seen this before?

    • Yes, I am still using the borrowed lens, but am definitely going to buy my own. I am very impressed with the quality of the Canon lens.

  2. On another tack here, I forgot to mention that I’ve never seen a Wilson’s warbler and really enjoyed those pictures. We do get redstarts, although I call them orangestarts, because obviously, the folks who named them are colorblind. 😉 And your photo of the chestnut sided warbler is gorgeous! (Now, see…THAT bird is named well!)
    😀

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