|Blackburnian Warbler or the"fire throat"|
|Black &White Warbler - about the size of a chickadee|
|Blue-winged Warbler returned to its nesting territory this week|
Most of the warblers moving around in the tree tops are Myrtle Warblers, and in parts of the forest, the air is filled with their uneven metered trilling. The majority of the Myrtles will go to their breeding grounds in the Adirondacks and to points north, but some will stay nearby to nest in patches of spruce dominated forest that grow in upland areas. The Myrtle is also called the Yellow-rumped Warbler –named for a prominent yellow patch at the base of their tail. Though this field-mark is shared with several other species, it’s only the Myrtle that is sometimes referred to as the “Butter-butt”. This is one of our only warbler species that can sometimes be found in our area during the winter. At that time of year, they feed on the waxy berries of Myrtle, and on Poison Ivy berries. The latter being my personal favorite.
|The Yellow-rumped Warbler is by far the most common migrant warbler|
|The Red Admiral Butterfly soaks in the sun|
The unprecedented migration of Red Admiral Butterflies continues. Lately when even the sun comes out and the temperature rises above 65 degrees, these red striped butterflies come out of hiding and resume heading north. Hundreds of them were seen at the Nature Preserve yesterday and it’s easy to imagine that millions of them are traveling through the region. Such a mass movement is bound to result in many casualties, as the Admirals fly low over busy roads and are struck by vehicles. On my way home from the Preserve, I saw scores of dead Admirals on the sides of the road, while others continued to successfully zip by.
|Another warbler species: the Northern Waterthrush|
|The Red Fox is a new mammal for the Nature Preserve|
I came face to face with a Red Fox on one of our trails yesterday. This was unusual at the Nature Preserve, where the Gray Fox was thought to be our only resident fox. But since the Red Fox is generally common throughout our region, it comes as no great surprise that one was finally seen here. This female fox is likely feeding kits. For several days, she’s been making gruesome little food caches in the middle of several different foot trails. There was part of a mouse left on one trail, and a freshly killed Red-bellied Snake on another. She’ll come back for these later, once she has amassed enough treats for all her kits.