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Watching For Warblers

5-13-19 yellow warbler_U1A8433Spring migration has begun in earnest and we are at the height of warblers arriving in and passing through New England. These little jewels, especially the colorful males, are a sight to behold as they flit about in shrubs and trees, constantly gleaning insects amongst the branches, flowers and emerging leaves. Getting and keeping a warbler in your binoculars can be challenging, to say the least — these busy little birds give the Energizer Bunny a run for its money.

As to when to look for warblers, the best times (“fallouts”) are when there’s a south wind (saves birds flying north considerable energy) and a change in the weather, such as a storm. The birds are forced to seek land, which is where we find large concentrations referred to as “waves” feeding furiously to fuel the rest of their journey.

The pictured Yellow Warbler, weighing 1/3rd – 1/4th of an ounce, left its wintering ground in Central or South America and travelled perhaps as far as 4,000 miles or more in order to return to Vermont this spring.

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6 responses

  1. My goodness, weighing less than half an ounce. It seems unbelievable that such a pure beauty could be packed in such a lightweight package!

    May 13, 2019 at 8:16 am

  2. Was able to positively ID several black-throated blue warblers, busy in the sparse, spring foliage along the Boston Cut trail (not sure if that’s the correct name?) in Hanover, yesterday!
    What a joy to see!

    May 13, 2019 at 10:03 am

  3. Just as I was reading this post I looked up at my bushy pine trees and there was a male Yellow Warbler. He has just crossed Lake Ontario.

    May 13, 2019 at 12:02 pm

  4. Laura Andrews

    Hi Mary, I’ve moved to Colorado but still love to see what I’m missing in New England. This is a stunning photo! The colors and composition are outstanding. Any chance of buying a print? Thanks, and thank you for your great posts. Laura

    May 13, 2019 at 10:40 pm

    • Hi Laura,
      Sorry for the delay in responding but I’ve been away. Can you send me your email address (mine is ) and I’ll write you back. Thank you.

      May 17, 2019 at 12:43 pm

  5. Toni Callahan

    We saw these guys in Jamaica. They were staying at Excellence Resort.

    May 17, 2019 at 10:19 am

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