A strange looking bird indeed. In the summer this species is common in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range of California. It prefers relatively dry shrubby mountain slopes. Early in the breeding season they can be located by their unique song.
Floy and I accompanied Ryan Phillips on a birding expedition into Southeastern Arizona. This area is known for some of the most unusual birds in the United States. The reason for these unique birds is that some of the mountains of Southern Arizona are contiguous with mountain ranges in Mexico. This enables some Neotropical birds to “hop” over the border and make themselves at home in Arizona.
The Five-striped Sparrow is a case in point because its distribution is mainly in Mexico over a strip that is about 450 miles long and less than 100 miles wide and extends from a few miles into Arizona and down the western mountain range of Mexico. This species barely makes it into Arizona and six were found about 32 miles north of the Mexican border, a few miles south of Tucson in a dry canyon. To the best of my knowledge this is as far north as they are known to occur. More details of this species can be found at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Neotropical Bird website.
One of the more strikingly colored orioles I have encountered. Every time we saw this species it looked like a flame in a tree. They are especially bright and beautiful when the sun is low. Mostly they were shy, but this fellow was grooming and did not seem to mind me getting close.
There is nothing like coming up on this little bird. We were walking down a road with dry grass and barbed wire fence. Out of nowhere, a blue gem catches the eye - even with its flashy colors, it just barely catches the eye.
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.
The Palm Warbler occurs mostly east of the Rocky Mountains and breeds almost exclusively in Northern Canada. Some members of this species will spend winters along the west coast of the United States, however, most overwinter in the Southeastern United States and down into the Caribbean and Yucatan. The winter Palm Warbler, like most other warblers is drab brown, but the yellow under-tail area gives them away along with their habit of wagging their tail up and down as they forage on the ground. They are brave for warblers. In Florida a winter bird came up and pecked on my shoe.
The photo shows an adult heading for the breeding grounds. Photo taken in May 2018 at Magee Marsh, Ohio.
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.
The Rufous-tailed Jacamar is a sit and wait predator. When a flying insect gets too close and it’s edible, it is as good as gone. Sit and wait predators make it somewhat easier to get a photo, but it’s not perfect because this species often perches in the shade.
Floy pretty much described this bird in her post below. We see it show up in the spring in the San Francisco Bay Area, usually, but not always in riparian areas. It is a common summer bird in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
We ran into our first Silver-throated Tanager by accident when we saw something yellow flitting around in a nearby tree. We were amazed at its beauty. It’s namesake isn’t always apparent, the bright yellow head and the greenish wings with black lines catches the eye long before the silver throat.
After awhile you don’t think much about the birds that occur where you live. This species is a desired bird to see by birders from all over the world. It only occurs over a small area of California. Whenever I run into someone who has come a long distance and is excited about seeing the Yellow-billed Magpie, it amazes me because they are just another local bird for me. I guess the same occurs when I go bananas over seeing a Dickcissel in Texas or a Fish Crow in Florida. One man’s rarity is another’s common bird.
Its cousin, the Black-billed Magpie has a much wider distribution over several lower states in the west, Canada and up into Alaska.
Golden-hooded Tanager (David Zittin, Costa Rica 2018)
I know I have posted this species earlier, but darn, it’s hard to get tired looking at such beauty. A few birds really take the breath from me when I encounter them in the field and this is one of those species.
It’s hard to describe the feeling that a birder has seeing one of these for the first time. They are strikingly beautiful with a color combination that takes the breath away from the viewer.
Walking across the Stone Bridge at the La Selva Research Station. I was more or less not paying attention to what was in front of me and you can imagine my surprise when I lifted my head and came eye to eye with an adult Broad-winged Hawk.
This hawk migrates across Costa Rica in large numbers and will flock with other hawks and Turkey Vultures. Some of these migrants will winter in Costa Rica and others keep going to locations further south.