Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bulletin 172 - mid April migrants

It has been rather slow in migration this year for the last 2 weeks.

Here is a Prothonotary Warbler. It is one of my favorites with his intense yellow-orange color and blue gray wings.
Prothonotary Warbler
Another warbler this weekend was this male Yellow Warbler. He is all yellow, including the wing bars. The male has the reddish streaks on the breast and the female would lack these streaks.
Yellow Warbler - male
This male Black-throated Green Warbler hung around the drip at LaFitte's Cove. Often, he was so close that I could almost touch him and thus too close for a photo.

Black-throated Green Warbler - male
A Red-eyed Vireo posed on a stick over the drip after his bath. His head feathers are sticking up from the bath, He normally doesn't have a crested appearance. His red iris is visible in this photo.

Red-eyed Vireo
Summer Tanagers are among the most strikingly colored birds. This solid red male had a huge mouthful of mulberries.

Summer Tanager - male
The females in the eastern USA can be orange to greenish color. This one was very orange with scattered red feathers. She was right above me and so close, I could not get her completely in the photo.

Summer Tanager - female
Sibley says in his description of this species, that they can have a slightly crested appearance. Here is the same bird a few frames later sporting her crest.

Summer Tanager - female

The male Scarlet Tanager is beyond comprehension with his red body and head and black wings and tail. I always love to see them in spring and always take a photo.

Scarlet Tanager - male
One confusing spring bird is the first year male Orchard Oriole. This greenish-yellow bird has 2 white wing bars and a black throat. It is very different from both adults and for a long time was thought to be a separate species of oriole!

Orchard Oriole - 1st year male
Lastly, a brown bird, the Swainson's Thrush. He is IDed by the plain brown back and large eye ring. He is a rather dull bird after the tanagers. However, all the thrushes are superd singers and if you ever hear him sing, it is wonderful. Here is a link to a You Tube video of one singing by Naturalist97333.

Swainson's Thrush
Lastly, this normally long slender Gray Catbird, was all hunched down like a dove. His black cap and rusty undertail are well seen in this view.

Gray Catbird
Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2013 David McDonald

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