Category Archives: Songbirds

Yellow-rumped Warbler

This Yellow-rumped Warbler, also known as “Butter Butt” paused as he was looking for snacks along the tree line of the rice field dike.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler – with flash of yellow showing

The warblers tend to be fast and elusive, usually working the inner branches as they move along a tree line.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

It’s always a treat when they turn towards the camera, even though this is not the Butter Butt’s most colorful side.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Pine Warbler On the Ground

Pine Warblers usually stick to the trees but this colorful fellow was zipping around on the ground chasing insects.

Pine Warbler
Pine Warbler

These were taken at Charleston’s Magnolia Cemetery, which is a haven for small birds. There are lots of trees for shelter and the grounds are only minimally kept up and harbor insects of all sorts. Many of the plots are bordered with granite edging which helps these small birds trap lunch.

Pine Warbler
Pine Warbler

Swamp Sparrow on a Reed

Swamp Sparrows are elusive and quick. Their non-breeding colors are not flashy and help them hide as they hunt along the marsh edge.

Swamp Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow

If you are fortunate enough to see one land, he might hold still long enough for a photo.

Swamp Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow

This one actually flipped direction giving me both a left and right profile. The reed foliage is drying up, giving more spotting opportunities than a month ago.

Swamp Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow

Palm Warbler

I had been watching some small birds flit in and out of the underbrush at the side of the road. The sun had just come up and they were hunting for breakfast in the lowest, darkest parts of the vegetation. This Palm Warbler finally took a break in the sun on a reed frond.

Palm Warbler
Palm Warbler

I was able to get a few steps closer and get a few images at a different angle before he went back to foraging.

Palm Warbler
Palm Warbler

Orchard Oriole Parents

In the three weeks since I photographed an Orchard Oriole working on her nest I’ve passed by the tree several times and seen no activity. On Sunday a male was sitting on branches about 30 feet from the nest.

Male Orchard Oriole with Grasshopper
Male Orchard Oriole with Grasshopper

After carefully watching the area he zipped into the nest with the grasshopper. You can just see one wing and a tail hanging out the entrance.

Male Orchard Oriole Going into Nest
Male Orchard Oriole Going into Nest

The nest was swinging back and forth in a light breeze and the male made a quick exit.

Orchard Oriole Nest
Orchard Oriole Nest

My question, was the male feeding his mate while she sat on eggs or chicks, was soon answered when the female appeared with another grasshopper.

Female Orchard Oriole with Grasshopper
Female Orchard Oriole with Grasshopper

The female was coming in at a different angle and had to pause to get into the nest.

Female Orchard Oriole with Grasshopper
Female Orchard Oriole with Grasshopper

After delivering the snack she came out with a fecal sac and disappeared into the woods.

Female Orchard Oriole Removing Fecal Sac
Female Orchard Oriole Removing Fecal Sac

Juvenile Red-winged Blackbird

When I first spotted this bird he was looking a bit disheveled and I wasn’t sure if it was a female Red-winged Blackbird, which are rather drab, or a juvenile.

Juvenile Red-winged Blackbird
Juvenile Red-winged Blackbird

He changed positions on this twig several times working to keep his balance. I’m leaning toward juvenile especially after seeing a hint of red on one shoulder.

Juvenile Red-winged Blackbird
Juvenile Red-winged Blackbird

Finally, he got it all together for a dignified look.

Juvenile Red-winged Blackbird
Juvenile Red-winged Blackbird

Orchard Oriole

It took me about five of her trips to catch this female Orchard Oriole pausing outside her nest. I had first seen her dart up to the branch and then poof, she was gone. I watched this clump of Spanish Moss for awhile and saw it moving like someone was in it and finally saw a head peak out. The opening of the nest faces the limb with leaves.

Orchard Oriole
Female Orchard Oriole bringing grass to the nest

Fortunately for me she was a creature of habit and flew the same pattern from the nest to a swampy area to gather grass and back, singing both ways alerting me to be ready.

Orchard Oriole
Female Orchard Oriole

On one of her trips she stopped for a look around before continuting on her way.

Orchard Oriole
Female Orchard Oriole