Tag Archives: warblers

Rest stop for amazing warblers

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Blackpoll Warbler this morning, after yesterday’s rain.

Because their migration paths are different in fall and spring, we only see them here in spring, traveling from the Caribbean and South America north to the Canadian boreal forest.

National Geographic: Amazing: Tiny Birds Fly Without Landing for Three Days

Warblers that weigh about as much as a stack of 12 business cards fly thousands of miles across the Atlantic during their fall migration.

Auld acquaintance: butterbutt

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Yellow-rumped Warbler in the neighbor’s banyan tree yesterday evening near sunset. There were a couple of them flitting around, calling softly. I pished them closer and got a few photos of one of them. (I’m always still surprised when that works.) Unfortunately, no good view of their defining feature, the bright yellow rump patch.

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Yellow-rumped Warblers are here in winter, fly north in April, and return south in late October. Here is a very cool animated map showing the species distribution and relative abundance throughout the 52 weeks of the year in North America.

The Yellow-rumped Warbler is one of the most abundant birds in North America, connecting almost every part of Canada, the U.S., and Mexico during its annual cycle.

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This is the first time I have noticed them in Florida. I first met them in my New Hampshire backyard in October 2016. Warning: gorgeous autumn foliage that will induce intense nostalgia if you have ever lived in NH!.. (But today they are having a blizzard.)

#59 is a butterbutt

Last two days

Reaching the peak

Thank you, little bird, for connecting the old and the new for me.

(This is my 67th Florida bird. My bird total in NH was 64.)

Red-startled

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It thunderstormed and rained hard yesterday as a cool front passed through and after the rain, surprise! there were warblers. Especially noticeable were the American Redstarts flitting around, including this male I photographed across the street.

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Female American Redstart.

American Redstarts are incredibly active insectivores that seem never to stand still. They rapidly spread their cocked tails, exposing the orange or yellow in a quick flash, which often startles insect prey into flushing, whereupon the redstart darts after it, attempting to catch it in the air.

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Bonus photo, flowers!

Plumeria aka frangipani is in bloom. It’s the Hawaiian lei flower.

Warblers abound

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Black-and-white Warbler, in the maple tree right off our back deck.

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Good morning, Common Yellowthroat.

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The male Common Yellowthroat has a black mask, the little bandido bug eater.

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Witchety, witchety, he says.

I saw three males near each other in the underbrush out by our pond this morning. I can hear even more out in the wet woods. A female spotted yesterday in the same area. I suspect some will migrate through and two or three pairs will stay around to nest.

Got some cute photos of an almost- fledgling last summer.

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Rain last night in the perfect amount. Sunny day ahead. Wild blueberries are blossoming.

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Walking the dog out past the pond around 7:15 a.m. I spotted a yellow bird flitting from branch to branch up high in a cherry tree. Distinctive song.

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It’s a Yellow Warbler.

I saw one for the first time last May on a birding trip offshore to Star Island, among the Isles of Shoals. (Here’s a Flickr photo album from that trip.)

This Yellow Warbler counts now as a Backyard Bird on my sidebar… number 48.

Males sing a sweet series of 6–10 whistled notes that accelerate over the course of the roughly 1-second song and often end on a rising note. The tone is so sweet that people often remember it with the mnemonic sweet sweet sweet I’m so sweet. The songs are a common sound of spring and early summer mornings and may be repeated as often as 10 times per minute.

8:50 a.m. BONUS

Just got some photos of an American Redstart in the woods next to our house! I saw two but heard more.

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A lively warbler that hops among tree branches in search of insects, the male American Redstart is coal-black with vivid orange patches on the sides, wings, and tail. True to its Halloween-themed color scheme, the redstart seems to startle its prey out of the foliage by flashing its strikingly patterned tail and wing feathers.

A stripey warbler

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Black-and-white Warbler!

My daughter and I spotted three this morning, where the red pine woods meet the red maple swamp. They were circling up and down tree trunks like nuthatches.

One of the earliest-arriving migrant warblers, the Black-and-white Warbler’s thin, squeaky song is one of the first signs that spring birding has sprung. This crisply striped bundle of black and white feathers creeps along tree trunks and branches like a nimble nuthatch, probing the bark for insects with its slightly downcurved bill.

Masked warbler

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Common Yellowthroat… looks like he’s up to something.

A broad black mask lends a touch of highwayman’s mystique to the male Common Yellowthroat. Look for these furtive, yellow-and-olive warblers skulking through tangled vegetation, often at the edges of marshes and wetlands. Females lack the mask and are much browner, though they usually show a hint of warm yellow at the throat.

I took this picture on Star Island last weekend (photo album HERE) but we have these warblers in our backyard too.

Yellowthroats are vocal birds, and both their witchety-witchety-witchety songs and distinctive call notes help reveal the presence of this, one of our most numerous warblers.

A buttery yelllow bird

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Looking up at a Yellow Warbler on Star Island last weekend.

North America has more than 50 species of warblers, but few combine brilliant color and easy viewing quite like the Yellow Warbler. In summer, the buttery yellow males sing their sweet whistled song from willows, wet thickets, and roadsides across almost all of North America.

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warblers nest on Star Island, one of the Isles of Shoals off our coast.

Look for Yellow Warblers near the tops of tall shrubs and small trees. They forage restlessly, with quick hops along small branches and twigs to glean caterpillars and other insects.

We also saw migrating warblers like Magnolia Warblers, Northern Parulas, Black-throated Green Warblers and Wilson’s Warblers. And many other birds too!

banded Yellow Warbler

This Yellow Warbler was banded, probably on the banding station next island over – Appledore Island.

More on our our especially birdy weekend coming up in a few more posts.

Photos from a Spring Birding Weekend are on Flickr HERE.