Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wood Warblers and other spring migrants

The warm weather over the past several months deluded us into thinking that we had skipped winter and that it was spring already, but the birds kept to their usual schedule. 

On a couple of walks I saw among others a Canada Warbler, a Chestnut-sided Warbler, a Palm Warbler, a Yellow Warbler and a Common Yellowthroat. There were also plenty of Yellow-rumps and A. Redstarts, but none held still long enough for a decent shot.

I always marvel at the great diversity of colors and patterns among the warblers. There is such an amazing congruence between what we find beautiful and what the females of the species find beautiful ---after all it's the females who, over the course of evolution, select the males whose looks they find most pleasing.

Photographing warblers can be extremely frustrating. They are usually high in the trees and moving faster than my finger on the shutter release. Often when I look at the photos at home I can't even find a bird in the tangle of leaves.  

In terms of flycatchers there are plenty of Eastern Phoebes around, but other species are rarer. So I was happy to get this cutie, most likely a Least Flycatcher to judge by the complete eye ring and the short wings. 

Finally I got a brief glance at a Rusty Blackbird walking along the mud bank of the West River, the first one I have seen in a couple of years. Vegetation was blocking my view down to the river and when it finally opened up the bird saw me and promptly disappeared. So no luck in getting more shots.  

Happy spring birding!


  1. nice group of birds - most of which i don't get to see here!

  2. Gorgeous colors in the warblers!

  3. A lovely serie!
    Great to see!
    Happy World Bird Wednesday!

  4. Great sightings Hilke. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  5. You see some wonderful birds Hilke... and also know most of mine.

  6. Great series of photos and beautiful birds - especially the yellow warbler.

  7. Hilke, at least you are seeing them! I have been out and about looking for warblers with little to no luck! They are, indeed, so amazing!

  8. HGilke, wonderful collection of warblers. They are so colorful and pretty. Great shots.

  9. You've got some great migrators coming through!

  10. some delightful birds there; wonderful colourings

  11. Great pictures you show.
    Wishing you a good day.
    Hanne Bente / hbt.finus.dk

  12. Beautiful collection of little birds Hilke. I know all about deleting reams of shots of leaves and branches.

  13. Great job capturing the warblers! I love the little flycatcher!

  14. Beautiful colorful warblers! Great images! Warblers certainly are difficult to photograph. We have similar birds in our area (Chicago) right now. A glorious time to go birding!

  15. Hi Hilke!
    I love your collection of warblers. Is there a tougher bird to catch on camera? We'll see. I'm going to a birding festival on Lake Huron next week in search of these wonderful little birds. I hope my luck is as good as yours. Excellent post!
    "after all it's the females who, over the course of evolution, select the males whose looks they find most pleasing."
    So how do you explain me? ;-)WBW! Dave

    1. Each to her own taste. No denying, some are weird ;-) Good luck with the birding festival on Lake Huron. Hope you'll see lots of warblers and wish you a steady hand.

  16. If only the birds would sit still on 'phone wires more often!!

    Nice set of pictures.

    Stewart M - Australia

  17. Yes warblers are among the hardest to get pictures off i think... They don't stop to move ;-) But you got nice encounters and nice pictures!

  18. Hilke, Warblers have always confused me. What a great post!

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