The Black-throated Blue Warbler (Dendroica caerulescens) is a small songbird that prefers to breed deep in woodlands of the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. This male may not look it, but his head, back and tail are a slate blue. His face and throat are black. He is visiting my Crabapple Orchard for the many insects that are attracted to the leafy canopies.
Southern gardeners may be seeing this species soon during their migration from the Caribbean.
Hearing their high "zoo zoo zee" song or espying this little Black-throated Warbler is an unusual and joyful happening for me.
Another forest dweller the Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia) is commonly seen all about the eastern United States and Canada. These songbirds have developed a clever footing so to speak. You may note the rather large foot with a special hind toe and claw, which in fact allows them to inch their way up and down tree trunks and branches, while hunting for insects and spiders. When the motion first caught my eye, I thought it to be a Brown Creeper, who has a similar way of scaling trees. This photograph shows a female who was very high up in a Rock Maple. The male Black-and-white Warbler has a black throat and more black down the side of the face with more contrast between black and white . . . both have two wing bars. Their nest is usually on the ground next to a tree.
Black-and-white Warblers may be well known to southern gardeners especially those living in Florida, where some will over winter. Many will fly further south, wintering in Central America and as far as the western tip of South America. They are an entertaining warbler hopping up along the trunks of trees chirping their high pitch "squeaky wheel-like" phrases. Perchance they run into a Red-breasted Nuthatch, they may provoke them into a fight! It is a matter of territorial competition for the same food but most unusual behavior for our beloved small songbirds. You can see a photo of a male and hear their song over at All About Birds.
Presently there is a lot more snow than seen in this photo of last year, featuring a neighbors tidy sugar bush and shack. It tis the season for maple syrup again here in New England and sugar houses are alive with sweet streams of steam flowing out their stacks. I hope this year proves a more profitable one for all!
Things are a bit blue this Blooming Friday. Please visit Katarina's Roses and Stuff to see other gardens from around the world.
I HAVE JUST LEARNED ABOUT THE TRAGEDY IN JAPAN. MY HEART IS ACHING FOR ALL OF THE PEOPLE AND PLACES WHO ARE SUFFERING FROM THIS NATURAL DISASTER.