Protonotaria citrea, male

Protonotaria citrea, male (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many thanks to Lin who was so thoughtful as to send me the January/February issue of Wild Ohio Magazine which features Warblers.  Not being your run-of-the-mill “seed and suet feeder” back yard birds, they are best encountered on springtime woodland bird walks.  Nearly 120 Warbler species, which survive almost entirely on insects, live exclusively in the Americas and Caribbean.  Their spring migration from the tropics to the U.S. and Canada provides some of the best birding opportunities.  If you are not familiar with Warblers, check out spring bird walks being offered by your area birding clubs.  Take a look at this Cornell Lab video to see how lovely these wild birds are.  Make some time to see the migrants winging their way to northern breeding grounds.

Warblers arrive in waves with the males of the species leading the way to select and protect their territories.  The first waves begin in March and roll on into April and May.  That should give you a wide enough window to be able to squeeze in a day to enjoy them.

Northern Waterthrush, Seiurus noveboracensis, ...
Northern Waterthrush, Seiurus noveboracensis, offset printing after painting (watercolor or acrylic?). Altered from original plate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thanks to an article in this magazine, I can now identify a bird I’ve seen in my yard during spring migration time but heretofore could not recognize.  It’s a Northern Waterthrush.  It is clearly not attracted to the feeders, but to the habitat in the yard and the pond and marsh near the subdivision that often invites unusual birds.  Not among the most colorful of the Warblers, it appears at first glance to be some type of sparrow with its brown coloring.  No wonder I could not pin-point the species.  I never thought to consult the “Warbler” section of my field guide!

That is the amazing thing about wild bird watching.  The more you learn, the more you realize there is so much more still in store to discover!

Things are just beginning to get interesting.

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4 Responses to Warblers

  1. “Things are just beginning to get interesting”!! So true even in our campus..! Right now its teeming with the winter migratory birds and spring migratory birds! So much bird activity that even the local ones are making their presence strongly felt! Its a bird festival out there 🙂

  2. ceceliafutch says:

    Fascinating. I think I might have to take up bird watching. I love your blogs; I learn so much; it’s fun! Loved the Cornel video. Thanks for another great blog. 🙂

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