Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Week of Warblers

Fall migration brings an ever-changing cast of characters through the trees outside our apartment's windows, and I love it! In the past week, we've had several cool and unusual visitors stop by, many of them warblers that I only rarely get to see. Here are some highlights!

A few American Redstarts (a species of warbler) have appeared to flutter and forage in our trees, including one fancy black-and-orange male (who was too quick for a picture). Mostly, these birds have been females and young males in their more subdued (but still quite pretty) outfits:

A camera-shy Northern Parula (another warbler) has stopped by a couple of times, sporting patches of yellow/green both on its chest and on its back:

And a dainty Black-throated Green Warbler brought some bright color to one of our recent gray days:

(Male Black-throated Green Warblers have black throats in the spring, although I'm not sure where the "green" part of the name comes from.)

My favorite warbler so far, though, has been this lovely Cape May Warbler (a totally new bird for me):

How pretty is this bird? (So pretty.) The subtle brown/gray/yellow patterning on its face makes me think of fall (the leaves are starting to change now!), and its yellow-and-black chest is just too cool:

That's one bright yellow chin!

Along with the warblers, a Red-eyed Vireo has come through as well:

And even though they're not new or fancy, I still can't help admiring our local Black-capped Chickadees. This one had an intense grooming session near our window recently, cleaning its fluffy underarms:

And preening each of its long primary feathers, one at a time:

(You seem to be standing on your wing feathers there, bird. Does that help with the grooming process?)

There's been so much variety already, and there's still a lot of migration to come! I wonder what the next week will bring. :)

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