|The male Scarlet Tanager perches below the forest canopy|
At the nature preserve, our older forest is the most likely place to see or hear these birds. The most well-known tropical looking birds –the Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Baltimore Oriole are somewhat easier to see at this point in the season, as most are involved in feeding their young, which are now out of the nest. As you get close to them, they give sharp alarm calls, and fortunately for the observer, defensive parents will sometimes come in close to scold intruders.
|A male Hooded Warbler protecting his nest area|
The Hooded Warbler most often breeds in small colonies where there is a substantial amount of suitable habitat. We are fortunate to have one such colony at our nature preserve.
|The male Hooded returns to the nest where hungry chicks await|
|After the young leave the nest, only one infertile egg remains|
As a nest site, the female chose a short Beech sapling that was shrouded by blackberry brambles. Only by getting very low to the ground, was I able to peer between the leaves and see what she was up to. That’s where I saw her weaving together relatively wide strips of bark and long pieces of grass. It really more resembled the nest of a Red-winged Blackbird than any creation by a member of the warbler clan. When finished, the sturdy looking nest looked like it would stand up well to any boisterous brood, and as things turned out, it did.
|The male Mourning Warbler on the breeding grounds|
|A female Mourning Warbler fluffs up her feathers and takes a sun bath|
|The not very tropical looking Ovenbird|
|The male Common Yellowthroat or "Bandit Bird"|