Saturday, October 12, 2013

Yellow Butts and Blue Berries (Technically Cones)

We still have flocks of Cedar Waxwings munching on the berry-like Red Cedar cones outside our windows, and now the Yellow-rumped Warblers are visiting more frequently as well. I absolutely love these little birds, and I'm glad they seem to like the food in our trees so much!

This subtly-colored individual stopped by on Wednesday. I keep thinking of this bird as female, but it could very well be an immature male (as far as I can tell). Either way, this is one pretty bird:

Yellow-rumped Warblers have yellow on their butts, of course, but they also have those yellow patches on their sides, and yellow on top of their heads as well. This bird had such soft side patches, and an even subtler wash of yellow on its head:

I watched this bird pluck individual cones and then toss them up into the air and catch them again before swallowing. I'm not sure why it was doing this, but it was a bit like watching a juggling act. Very impressive stuff! (And much too quick for my camera.)

Speaking of motions too quick for my camera (in this day's low light), I actually quite like this picture of the bird taking off, streaky yellow patches and all:

There was another Yellow-butt foraging in these trees at the same time, and this bird was distinctly darker, with sharper yellow in all four spots:

I'm assuming this is an adult male in his non-breeding plumage (they're much darker in the spring), but I could be wrong!

I absolutely love the blue-gray patches on this guy's wings. The combination of gray and russet and black here actually reminds me -- strangely enough -- of the colors on an American Kestrel. But I'm sure that's not what this little creature is going for:

During all this time that these two Yellow-rumped Warblers were posing for me, I actually saw very little of the spot that gives them their name. Ah, there it is!

Fall is such a fantastic time, with new yard visitors practically every day. A couple days before these Yellow-rumped warblers showed up, we got a surprise fly-through from a Scarlet Tanager (any scarlet that this bird might have is hidden away for the season):

And a fancy Blue-headed Vireo stopped by as well, showing off its cool white spectacles:

These last two birds weren't eating any cones -- nor any sunflower seeds from the feeder we have set up nearby -- so they didn't stay around very long. Even these brief visits, though, are an awesome addition to this season's variety of wildlife. Hooray for diversity!


  1. Hi! How's things? Those warblers are a delight to have in the garden. We have lost of birds moving through at the moment, Very exciting. M

    1. Hi, Mel. Things are going well! These birds are indeed delightful. I'm always excited about the visitors migration brings, and I can imagine migration is just as exciting in your continent as well. :)