This lovely Canada Warbler had the lucky distinction of being my 400th life bird! I was lucky to get some looks at this awesome bird the other morning…he was one of the last few warblers I hadn’t seen yet. I’m not sure how long it will take before I reach 500, but this milestone feels great…I can’t wait to see more!
This beautiful male Blackburnian Warbler was a very special life bird #399 for me and my wife this morning. They are very tough to come by on Cape Cod, so we were very lucky to get a glimpse of this little gem. It wasn’t an amazing photo opportunity, but I was still able to snag a pic before he flew away. This bird was definitely on my target list, and I was super happy to check him off, finally!
This morning was an awesome morning for birding…the bird of the day was probably this Yellow-breasted Chat. The largest of all warblers, Yellow-breasted Chat’s aren’t just hard to come by…they are also very secretive, making them a tough bird to spot. This was probably the best look I have ever had at one of these stubborn birds…although it stayed pretty hidden in the thicket, I was still able to grab some good photos when it showed it’s face briefly. The Chat had been eating red berries, and had berry juice all over its face.
October is the only time I get to see Orange-crowned Warblers on Cape Cod…they are one of the last migratory birds to pass through during fall. In most areas, Orange-crowned Warblers are tough to see at any time, so it is nice to pick up a few looks at them while I can…I have already seen 2 this week. This morning the weather was dark, and light was low, but I managed to snap this photo of a first-year Orange-crowned Warbler. It is a drab bird overall, but the identifying marks are the grayish head, broken white eye ring, sharp bill, unmarked tail and yellowish undertail coverts. A fun bird to see!
In the Northeast, our only winter warbler is the Yellow-rumped Warbler. We call these birds “Butter-Butts” because the abundant first-year birds have bright yellow patches on their rumps. They are very common near water, so here on Cape Cod, Yellow-rumps are seemingly everywhere this time of year. I was swarmed by dozens of them the other day and snapped this photo which clearly displays the yellow rump of a hatch-year female.
May has come and gone, and most of the migrant birds have already passed through on their way to their breeding grounds in the North. A few warbler species, however, stick around for summer…among them are Common Yellowthroats. The males have distinctive black masks that make them look almost like little yellow bandits, and their familiar “witchity-witchity-witchity” calls can still be heard into the summer months. They tend to stay hidden within the thickets, but this one came out to give me some nice looks and posed nicely for a photo 🙂
Yesterday, I finally got some good snaps of a bird that has been giving me a lot of trouble when it comes to taking photos. Blackpoll Warblers are a pretty common warbler to hear in May…their song resembles the sound of a tambourine ringing, but they are less-often spotted due to their tendency to stay high and hidden in the canopies of trees. This Blackpoll gave me a quick photo opportunity, and I was lucky enough to catch it! 🙂
Prairie Warblers have a distinct rising song and today I got great looks at this one singing his heart out. Fortunately, these are one of the few warbler species that stick around my area through the summer.
American Redstarts are easily one of my favorite warblers…probably because I love the color orange so much and they are one of the few warblers with a color other than yellow. I’ve seen a lot of these guys this month, but today I saw a pair outside my house for the first time. This fellow posed nicely for some snaps…Its always fun to see a new yardbird!