Sunday, May 8, 2011

Wilson's Warbler and more!

This morning, I got up to do some birding as I often do this time of year. I often get up early to listen for nocturnally-migrating birds to add a few extra species that I might not see later on. However, I was exhausted last night, so I woke up at 6am, fairly late by birders' standards. When I went outside, I immediately headed to the woods. Right away, I heard the common woodland species: Ovenbirds, Black-and-white Warblers, and Scarlet Tanagers. Once I reached the ridgetop meadow on the property, I started to hear other species. Several Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Eastern Towhees, and Field Sparrows were singing along with the large flock of warblers that included Yellow-rumped, Blackburnian, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Prairie, Worm-eating, Nashville, Northern Parula, Common Yellowthroat, and American Redstart.

Once my neck was sore from watching all of the warblers, I headed back towards the house. Just up the hill from the house is a fenced in area that once held in goats. Now, the area is filled with young aspen trees. These trees must have been filled with insects, as there were loads of warblers here as well! Right away I heard both Yellow and Chestnut-sided Warblers singing from the patch of trees. The proximity of these birds allowed for a good comparison of these two similar-sounding species. Not long after, a Magnolia Warbler and several Yellow-rumped Warblers began singing.

As I was about to head to another area of the yard, I heard an unfamiliar song. As I continued to listen, I realized that I was listening to the song of a Wilson's Warbler. I had only seen this species in the yard once before, so this was an exciting find. The cooperative bird allowed me to record its song and photograph it before it flew away. Later in the day, I refound the bird in some fruit trees near the house. The final warbler of the morning was a Canada Warbler that was singing from a greenbriar thicket on the edge of the yard.

Today was an awesome day for birding in the yard -- I ended with 77 species including 19 warbler species!

Here is the audio and a photo of the Wilson's Warbler that showed up in the yard today:

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