We went for a walk at Arnold Arboretum in Boston on Saturday and so did this big old snapping turtle.
It crossed the paved pathway, traveling from one pond to another, while about 15 people stopped to observe and wonder.
“That is the prettiest color,” said my daughter Laura. We were in town to celebrate her graduation from MassArt, BFA in Painting.
The nest, featuring robin’s-egg-blue eggs, was down low right next to the path.
This Red-winged Blackbird has a distinguished and distinguishing shoulder patch of red and yellow.
Tree Swallow on a nest box.
Yellow Warbler in a thicket by a pond.
Close-up of the Tree Swallow. Such a nice deep blue iridescence on its back and head.
Over by the bonsai collection, a Common Grackle feeds its kid.
Is that a potato chip or a moth?
Chipping Sparrow hopping around in front of us, sort of camouflaged yet not.
So this is where some of my winter friends have flown to!
In the artist’s palette of bird colors, this bird is Catbird Gray.
You know you want a Yellow Bird too.
It’s a drink! A Caribbean cocktail for sipping on the back deck or patio while watching pretty birds.
The Common Yellowthroat is a pretty bird to watch. Or listen to… witchety, witchety. But only in summer.
You can watch Goldfinches all year round, around here.
My recipe for a batch of Yellow Birds to share. Mix in a pitcher and serve over ice.
- 1.5 cups light rum
- 3/4 cup creme de banane
- 1/2 cup galliano
- 2 cups orange juice
- 1.5 cups pineapple juice
- juice of 1 lime
Bonus bird: a (banded) Yellow Warbler spotted on the Isles of Shoals last May.
Black-and-white Warbler, in the maple tree right off our back deck.
Good morning, Common Yellowthroat.
The male Common Yellowthroat has a black mask, the little bandido bug eater.
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.
Rain last night in the perfect amount. Sunny day ahead. Wild blueberries are blossoming.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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.