Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Warblers in Waves

    In spite of the late spring, the continuing cool, wet weather and a general lack of activity in my backyard, it looks like things are picking up. In the past week there have been waves of migrants moving through the upper midwest. I took that as a sign to get out and put up some nets to see what I could band. I was not disappointed.
   The variety of warblers was interesting. There are lots of Yellow-rumped Warblers around but I also saw Blackburnian Warblers which I think of as arriving later. The Ovenbird above was on of 2 I banded on Sunday morning. Many calls of "Teacher! Teacher! Teacher!" in the surrounding woods.

    American Redstarts were present in good numbers and gave that harsh call of theirs almost continually. For a bird of just 2 colors they sure are beautiful.
    My favorite of the day was the Magnolia Warbler. I can't think of a more strikingly gorgeous species. I spied on foraging in a small pine tree and those colors against the green background made the Magnolia really stand out.
    When I see Yellow-rumps I know I should also be looking for Palm Warblers. Most of the Palms I saw were typically feeding on or near the ground. Easy to ID based on the constant pumping of their tails. There is an eastern subspecies that is a much brighter yellow but what we get here in Minnesota is the "Western" Palm Warbler. I've only handled one eastern form and it was stunning in it's brightness.

   Everyday brings new birds to the backyard so keep on looking!

1 comment:

Lorrene said...

So nice to see them up close!