Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pine Warbler in Distress

This cute little Pine Warbler must have flown over from Fenway Victory Gardens. That's a popular spot for birding right near my office in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood.

I noticed this pine warbler when I got up from my desk and saw him resting on the ledge right in front of my window. My office is on the 16th floor, so I was obviously worried to see a pine warbler hanging out up here. Sometimes we'll see rock pigeons up here, but it's out of the ordinary to see a warbler.

Then I began to see the obvious signs of a bird in distress: open mouth, and flexed wings. There were points that the bird really worried me (like when it was laying face-first on the concrete, with its butt in the air) but then it stood up and when I looked away for a minute it flew away. Let's hope this pine warbler made it back to park safely! :-)

These pine warbler photos were taken with my cell phone, and are in order:

Sunday, May 9, 2010

White Throated Sparrow on Cape Cod

I really enjoy the White Throated Sparrow song. I recorded some audio of the white throated sparrow song back in November at our friend's farm in Connecticut. I hear them all the time now, especially early in the morning here in Bridgewater when I'm getting ready for work.

White throated sparrow photo:

The white throated sparrow range has them moving northward pretty soon it looks. They're winter residents here in Massachusetts, according to my Sibley Guide, meaning they'll soon be headed north to their summer territory in Canada it appears.

Yellow-rumped Warbler on Cape Cod

I spent last weekend at my parents' house in Monument Beach on Cape Cod. My dad had to work on my car, and it was great because while I was at the house I noticed some yellow-rumped warblers in the side yard on the border of the conservation land.

The only warblers I saw were yellow-rumped, except for one mystery warbler. It was very small (4.75" or smaller), and all yellow except for a gray mask/hood. The gray went on either side of its face. I only watched it through my binoculars- by the time I got my camera up it was already gone and I didn't see it again the rest of the weekend. There are so many yellow and gray warblers that I knew my odds weren't good. I guess I can just hope I see it again so I can positively ID it.

Picture of yellow-rumped warbler:

There were many female yellow-rumped warblers in the yard too, but I didn't get any pictures of those. They're actually very similar in appearance to males, but are just slightly more drab in color.

Yellow Warbler Photos from Pratt's Farm

These yellow warbler photos were today this morning at Pratt's Farm in Middleborough, MA. One of the easiest ways to identify a yellow warbler is to look for the red streaks on the male yellow warbler's breast. They're also uniformly yellow (whereas lots of other warblers have tinges of gray on them) and they're very small.

Yellow Warbler Singing:

Yellow Warbler photos:

Blue-winged Warbler at Pratt's Farm

It's the height of migratory warbler season and I've been trying to squeeze in birding every chance I get. This morning we dropped off some friends in Middleborough and asked if there were any good parks or conservation areas nearby. They told us to try Pratt's Farm- a small piece of land owned by the Middleborough Conservation Commission. This time of year I'm confident I can find warblers just about anywhere so we decided to try it out. There's even a small pond there, so even better- we had a feeling our odds were good.

There are lots of grassy, meadow areas there, complete with honeysuckle bushes, and other flowering trees and bushes. Perfect spot for warblers and orioles.

We saw and heard lots of blue-winged warblers. The blue-winged warbler call is something like a "buzzy beeee-BZZZZZZ" according to my Sibley Guide. To me it just sounds very "buzzy" and we followed the sound all around the patches of meadow.