Tag Archives: warbler

Bird Photography Weekly

Black & White Warbler

My sister and I had just finished dragging the table and chairs out of the garage and uphill into the back yard and were enjoying our first sip and sup of well-deserved crisp white wine and creamy Saint Andre cheese when, from out of the corner of my ear; I heard it.  I stopped chewy and tilted my head.  “Weeza, weeza, weeza.”  I saw a flicker of monochromatic movement.

“What is…”

“Have you seen…”

We both spoke at once.

“It’s a Black and White Warbler,” I reached onto the chair next to me and offered her my bins.  “They nest here and will be with me all summer.”

Not all warblers, the jewels of the treetops, are high or bright.  The Black and White Warbler travels the trunk like a Nuthatch and has zebra stripes or so my littlest neighbor across the street tells me.  I love that they are so accessible.  Especially if I can see them in the backyard and the only travel involved is with a wine glass from table to lips.

To see other birds, check Birdfreak’s Bird Photography Weekly

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Filed under Local schmocal, migration, Photos

Watch where you walk

Rescued in Manhattan in 1994

May 25, 1994. I was late for work hurrying down 33rd street. The train was late and it had rained in the night. As I power-walked head down in the wind, up ahead I noticed a circle of people clustered around something on the sidewalk. I could not help myself. I stopped to see what had caught the attention of jaded New York commuters. There on the side walk was a female northern parula. Alive, eyes open yet completely still.

“Oh my God, it’s a parula.” The crowd parted. I knelt down. Satisfied that someone was taking care of the situation, they melted away. I stared at the tiny bird. Gingerly I gathered her up, carrying her cupped in my hand to my office on Park. When I walked in my co-worker asked what I had. I told him it was a migrating warbler that appeared to have hit the Empire State Building. How she did not get crushed, stepped on in the morning rush, I had no idea. He immediately took out his coffee and handled me the bag. I nestled her in it on a bed of napkins. Lightly folding down the top, I picked up the phone and started to call birding friends and the local bird societies. One of them gave me the name of a midtown rehabilitator, Vivian Sokol. When I called and explained the situation, she said to come right over. She was amazing.

On December 28, 1994, she mailed me this photo ……with a note on the back. “She suffered a concussion from the collision and a broken wrist on her left wing. Rehabilitating took the summer. She was released at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Sep 3, 1994 in time for fall migration. She underwent a complete moult from July to August. Here she has completed it to perfection by the end of August when migration restlessness peaked.”

The memory of holding that tiny life moves me still. Thank you Vivian Sokol for the work that you did and hopefully are still doing.

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Filed under migration, Photos

Birding Clinton Road

Ah. love is in the air

Hard on the heels of my disappointed over missing the World Series of Birding because of my delayed flight back from New Orleans; a friend and I spent some time yesterday on Clinton Road. Clinton Road is a 10-mile wooded wonderland that goes from Route 23 to 94. It snakes through the Newark watershed, has sparkling streams that fall over iron-laced boulders, is a cool delight in summer and breathtaking in autumn. It is also the nesting territory for many of the wood warblers. (should I mention that it is haunted?)

My friend arrived at my house proclaiming that it was a very birdy day. From the house I could hear Orioles, Titmice, Chipping Sparrows and the “Weeeep” of a Great Crested Flycatcher. We threw our gear in the car and headed out.

We rolled down the windows and cranked up the heat (yes, it is still cold up here) listening as we crept down the road. At one end of Clinton Road there is the lake. At this hour the Red-winged Blackbirds were frantically shoves their epaulets in our faces, the Yellow Warblers were chasing each other like sprayed drops of feathered sunshine.

When we got past the houses and into the wooded section, the woods erupted in the melodious songs of the warblers. I smiled and thought to myself, “welcome back”. The Black-throated Greens were murmuring in the trees, Ovenbirds teaching from the forest floor, Prairies ascending the heights, Parulas and Redstarts singing for all they were worth. We were awash in Chestnut-sided Warblers. It was amazing to hear it all. In the end we got 52 species in 4 hours.

Black-throated Blue, Prairie Warbler, Black-throated Green, Ovenbird, Wood Thrush, Veery, Yellow Warbler, Blue-Winged Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Parula, Redstart, Pine Warbler, Black & White Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Indigo Bunting, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Baltimore Oriole, Goldfinch, Scarlet Tanager, Purple Martin, Barn Swallow, Tree Swallow, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Mallard, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Turkey, Turkey Vulture, Black Vulture, Broad-winged hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Cooper Hawk, Mourning Dove, Cardinal, Robin, Blue Jay, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Phoebe, Great-crested Flycatcher, Red-eyed vireo, Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Catbird, Chipping Sparrow, House Sparrow, Cowbird.

Are you intrigued? Come to the highlands.

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Filed under Local schmocal, migration, Photos