I saw movement but it took my eyes a few minutes to spot this little songbird staring back at me.
The Merlin Bird ID app tells me this is a Common Yellowthroat, to my eye looking a whole lot like many other young or female warblers.
He was on the hunt, jumping from branch to branch, checking behind these waxy leaves for bugs or worms.
I got a quick full body peek while he contemplated his next move, which was to zoom into the heights of this tree.
White-eyed Vireos are a fast, elusive song bird.
This one was intent on food. He picked a worm off a leaf and flew down to an open branch to eat it.
But first he beat it a few times.
I’ve seen song birds gather a stack of worms or insects in their beak and thought he might be rendering this one ready for a flight to a nest.
No, this one was for him.
One gulp and it was gone.
The nest of this White-eyed Vireo is quite intricate and well placed to protect it from the rain.
A sharp-eyed friend had spotted the nest being constructed and pointed it out to me as we passed by.
This Prothonotary Warbler’s nest is in that cavity, and the parent spent several minutes poking his head in, like he was moving something around.
I did not see if he brought something on this trip to the nest, like he did when I spotted the parent two days before: Prothonotary Warbler Bringing Food Home
The hole is about my eye level and I did see one chick beak when I passed by.
The parent did fly off with a fecal sac, something I hadn’t seen up close before.
Sitting just off the trail this Prothonotary Warbler was perched, but not singing, which is a common behavior. I didn’t notice at first that his beak was stuffed with lunch.
Not for himself, but he was taking this meal to his nest.
He quickly stuck his head in…
then flew off for another serving.
I didn’t hear any chicks so suspect he was feeding his brooding mate.
A male Painted Bunting was perched on a dried reed stem. I tried to shift to a better position…
… but I’d been spotted.
His awkwardness gave the Carolina Wren away as a young ‘un.
His feet seemed a bit big for his body but boy could he sing like a seasoned pro.
Oops, leaned a bit too far.
A Painted Bunting entertained us with a cheery song from a perch above our heads on Friday. These are not great images but the bird’s colors are pretty amazing.
If he was trying to attract a mate there weren’t any takers and after about five minutes he went on his way.
For a better look at a Bunting’s colors see my post from a couple weeks ago: Male Painted Bunting, Two Views
The flash of yellow let me know this might be a Northern Parula as he flitted in the Spanish Moss above my head. Yes, it was.
I stood still and he finally paused for just a moment before zipping down the trail.
Donnelley Wildlife Management Area
May 15, 2020
I think these two views of a Male Painted Bunting are two different birds. Both paused in the sun on some pretty grasses.
I was surprised to see one land near me and then a second one landed very close to the first, alas not to be captured together.