Migrating birds ride south winds into our parks on their way north, with most birds moving through in April and May. All summer long, we are graced with the presence of other warblers. Could it be? Driven by the need to find the optimum habitat for raising their young,  these colorful small birds persist in the journey defined by their tropical ancestors thousands of year ago. Clearly, one was more interested in escape and one was in hot pursuit. My camera and I are not quite quick enough to catch a lot of these tiny, fast-moving birds. This tree with its plumes of white blossoms in the early spring offers a native alternative to the non-native Callery/Bradford Pear trees (Pyrus calleryana) that flower at the same time. These little birds spend their winters among tropical birds in Central and northern South America. Determining a specific species in this genus is not possible unless you’re an expert with one in hand. Even Cornell Lab’s photo doesn’t do it justice, because its gray is much bluer in morning light and its back has a green patch – plus those rusty stripes on a golden throat! Male Black-throated Green Warbler, breeding plumage. The birding group sees  or hears Black-throated Green Warblers (Setophaga virens) during migration. Year ’round birds and summer residents have almost finished molting and are also stocking up energy for winter or the migration. They dodge predators like owls  or suburban cats that patrol the night and hawks and other predators by day. Having a little fun here...didn't like my image so I used a couple of watercolor filters in photoshop. If shopping malls and housing developments bloomed with this native beauty each spring, the fields of our natural areas would not be invaded by groves of the invasive pears. Ben got the best photo of it. The migration of the “super-generation” Monarchs is well underway. All this severe weather is a serious threat to migrating birds! See, those puffs in your lawn are food to some of our avian visitors! Or they may have traveled from Central America and northern South America, either around or over the Gulf of Mexico. There they lay the eggs for the first of the 4 to 5 generations of short-lived Monarchs who will successively produce their progeny, eventually ending this relay in Michigan each spring. Its brain activity stops, its heart stops and it’s frozen solid! Thanks for accompanying me, even at such a great social distance. So here’s Bob’s rare shot of an excited little male with his crown raised! But I’m using some of last year’s photos  when they’re better than some of the ones I took during this year’s cold, rainy spring. So fellow birder and fine photographer Joan Bonin was kind enough to share a few of her photos with me! I couldn’t really determine whether they were mating or fighting! This year’s towhee sang his “drink your teeeeeea” song much more slowly than usual, so it took longer to identify it. Here’s my photo of a male prepared to charm the ladies in his spring plumage. Never underestimate the little Kinglet! Listen to him here at “Typical Voice” about halfway down the page. Was that a neck stretched out to gather some sun? Adult males are stunning, with a bright yellow face and extensive black on the throat turning to black streaks on the flanks. It was a good day for photography, and I obtained more conventionally attractive images, but this one tells the best story. One individual was observed singing 466 songs in one hour. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Reinita Dorsiverde - Paruline a gorge noire. Farm fields can be so lovely in spring – neat rows of green as far as the eye can see taking the shape of a field’s rolling contours. OUT AND ABOUT IN OAKLAND: Elusive Warblers and Summer Visitors. Could it have rushed the season like the Green Frog? There its mate can lay 5-12 eggs in a 4 inch nest woven with grasses, feathers, moss, cocoon or spider silk and lined with finer grass and fur. A wave of migratory warblers and other small birds had arrived on that night wind. But since these beautifully patterned warblers wear the same plumage fall or spring, here’s a springtime shot when foliage was less of a problem! Joan got a shot of a Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens) which is also headed to the Bahamas. The Northern Waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis) loves wetlands and according to Cornell Lab of Ornithology, will even settle for a puddle if it’s near cover. Listen for its cheerful song since they mate in our area, as well as over a large area of the  country. Prothonotary numbers are dwindling due to a lack of forested wetlands in the U.S. and the loss of mangrove forests along the Atlantic Coast of Central and northern South America, where they spend the winter. A pair of Palm Warblers (Setophaga palmarum) skittered around me within the low bushes at the marsh. We came across, though, a sad sight on the prairie – an injured Nashville Warbler (Leiothlypis ruficapilla) feeding on a path but unable to take flight. Alone at the park on a cool, wet morning, I saw twenty-one Monarchs in my first ten minutes! The dark water around the floating marsh hosts frogs, several jousting Red-winged Blackbird couples, and those ancient and elegant cranes. After all, that carapace, an extremely long neck, powerful jaws and claws are pretty good protection for an adventurous young snapper. Thanks to all who comment or mark as a favorite it really is much appreciated. They tend to be brown (though they are sometimes green too), so I’m fairly sure this is Pickerel frog below. I hope the devastating hurricane there doesn’t mean trouble for them. On one of my Cranberry walks, I spotted some Wood Ducks  (Aix sponsa) far across a well-hidden wetland. I have yet to see a warbler nest, but I’ve only become aware of these little beauties since I joined the birding group, so maybe you long-time birders have spotted them raising young. So cheer for Goldenrods as they feed wildlife, but don’t blame them for your fall allergies – blame ragweed! These two larger turtles could be quite old; Midland Painted Turtles sometimes live over 50 years! Blackburnian Warblers feature a very distinct plumage — black and white on the uppers and striking orange faces marked with black. The Black-throated Green Warbler is an untiring songster. The Nashville Warbler (Oreothlypis ruficapilla) isn’t quite as glamorous but it’s definitely not an LBJ. What a snappy dresser in those bold pin-stripe feathers! A tiny Gray Tree frog is bright green when it first hatches like this one in August.

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