In the California county in which we live, Santa Clara County, there are well known migration paths used by passerine birds. These paths are usually creeks and small rivers that provide food and water to birds as they fly from as far as Alaska heading south to their boreal winter grounds ranging from Mexico to South America. The Yellow Warbler is one such species and every fall they appear reminding us that another northern hemisphere breeding season is ending.
Some warblers enjoy the heights. These are two we found a couple weeks ago in the mountains in SE Arizona.
Talk about an athlete, this warbler, which weighs less than half of an ounce, makes an 1800 mile non-stop flight over the Atlantic Ocean to get to its breeding grounds which are in far northern Canada and west to Alaska.
A warbler with a lemon-yellow face that is common in the Northeast United States and Southeast Canada in the northern summer. In the summer it feeds mostly on caterpillars in coniferous and deciduous forests. This species spends the northern winter in tropical America where it eats the buds of the cecropia tree.
We have seen this species in Northern Ohio as it makes its way across the lakes to northern forests in Canada.
Photo taken at Magee Marsh, 2018.
The sweet song of the Yellow Warbler always puts a smile on my face as it sings “sweet, sweet, I am so sweet”. The rich buttery yellow with the reddish streaks indicate a male Yellow Warbler in the photos. Females and immatures are not as bright and lack the rich reddish streaking on the breast. The plain face with a piercing black eye is a characteristic of this species.
These photos were taken at Magee Marsh, Ohio in 2018
I found my first ever Nashville Warbler in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Yosemite National Park. Floy and I were hiking a steep trail and we saw a little bird flitting around in a nearby tree. I was taken aback by this little beauty with a yellow-olive belly, a gray head and a distinct, complete eye ring. There is a sliver of a breeding population of this species that is found on the Sierra Nevada Mountains and up into Oregon, Washington and Southern British Columbia, but most of the breeding activity occurs in Southeastern Canada and the Northeastern United States.
This photo was taken in the Edinburg Scenic Wetland Park in Texas.
This cute warbler usually inhabits marshy areas, often in and around reeds or other vegetative tangles. This is a photo of a male. The female’s colors are subdued. They skulk around in dense vegetation making them hard to see, but every once in awhile one will appear for a photo. In the spring they can more easily be found by their song which sounds like whichety-whichety-whichety and is quite a racket for a tiny bird. In the northern summer, this species can be found across the entire United States and the southern half of Canada.
Yes, there are many beautiful birds in the Neotropics, but it’s not to say there isn’t beauty among the birds in North America. Indeed, we share many of our birds with countries in the south when they migrate to warmer climes in the winter. Floy and I have seen many northern species in the south, but they are often drab and do not show their breeding colors until the northern spring. The male Bay-breasted warbler is a member of this category, drab and plain in the Neotropics becoming a stunning showman in the northern summer.
This photo was taken in May, 2018 at Magee Marsh, Ohio