Redstarts are part of the fall warbler migration through South Carolina and this is the first year I’ve gotten more than a glimpse of one of these speedy songbirds.
This one landed right in front of me when I was standing on a short bridge over a pond outlet late one recent afternoon. She then dropped to the ground so that I was looking down on her at the water level.
She proceeded to splash around in the water which was in the dark shade of the bridge, flashing her colored tail feathers.
I’ve checked back on the White-eyed Vireo nest from my June 15th post a few times, and about a week later got a similar image, without the rain.
Two weeks later, the nest was empty. Could chicks have hatched and fledged in that short time? All About Birds says their nestling period is 9 – 11 days, so yes it is possible.
Once I was sure there were no birds in the nest I got closer for a side view. Although a bit shabby looking at the bottom, what an engineering marvel this nest was.
Also from All About Birds:
Males and females build a pendulous nest suspended from a Y-shaped fork. They collect insect silk and spiderweb and attach it to the fork until it makes a lacy shell. They then stick leaves, bark, plant fibers, rootlets, and bits of paper to the spiderweb shell. They also stick lichens, moss, or leaves to the outside for additional camouflage. The female lines the nest with rootlets, fine grass, or hair. It takes the pair around 3–5 days to complete the nest.
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.
I was able to get a few steps closer and get a few images at a different angle before he went back to foraging.