Despite cold rainy weather for the past few days, a few of the many migratory bird species that will eventually pass through this area have stopped by the backyard to grab a quick snack. Rain may have kept them grounded temporarily, but that’s not a bad thing when they need to replenish their fat stores with all the nutritious bird seed and suet lying around for the taking.
Foraging behavior in some birds is hard-wired; their neocortex is full of pre-programmed instructions, unlike mammals that rely on a suite of learned behaviors. The reason I bring this up is that there was a feeder full of lovely, fresh seed four feet above this bird, but rather than fly up there and grab a beak full, it painstakingly scratched through moldy mulch in search of the stray seed some squirrel hadn’t yet found.
In contrast, Yellowrump Warbers seem to adapt quickly to whatever looks edible in the backyard. They tried out the bird seed, the left-over peanut butter suet, and scratched around in the litter, perhaps hoping to scare up some errant bug. A few tried flycatching but nothing much was flying around in this damp weather.