Monday, September 8, 2014

Plenty of Fall Warblers and Other Migrants

Magnolia Warbler in all of its fall glory
OK, so plumage-wise, most fall warblers aren't as spectacular as spring warblers, but they are still pretty glorious and well worth the trouble it takes to see them. The best way to find them is to seek out a noisy group of Black-capped Chickadees moving through the forest or along the edge of a woods. Chickadees, titmice and nuthatches often form the core of mixed foraging flocks and during fall migration their numbers are bolstered by migrant warblers and vireos. There are a few known advantages of traveling together, but probably the main one is security. In a flock there are many pairs of eyes which might discern a predator skulking in a bush or flying over the habitat. An alarm call given by one of these birds is recognized by the others regardless of species, and so individuals in a flock stand a better chance of surviving the danger.

Nashville Warbler
Tennessee Warbler 
Female Black-throated Blue Warbler
Magnolia Warbler can be easily identified by its  half-black & half-white tail 
Black-throated Green Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Magnolia Warblers have been among the most common migrants so far
Of Course, the warblers and vireos were not the only south-bound migrants to be found, there are still flycatchers, grosbeaks and even a few hummingbirds around.
One of 6 Brown Thrasher seen near an Elderberry Bush 
Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak
An immature Ruby-throated Hummingbird - just been feasting on nectar from orange jewelweed 
The hummingbird checks out a mostly spent Joe-Pye-Weed flower
A Least Flycatcher hangs out at the periphery of the mixed foraging flock
An Olive-sided Flycatcher hunts for flying insects over the beaver pond 

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