Monday, April 04, 2011

Yellow-rumps Return!

Small branches and twigs littered the creek corridor trail from last night's powerful hailstorm. Clumps of nickel-sized hailstones still remained even though it's been above freezing. As I walked down the corridor trail, I was relieved to hear so many songs of birds. I checked in on the owls – they were fine. A male Great Horned Owl had his wings drooped at his flanks to dry them out. Judging from the number of individuals and species, the birds seemed largely unaffected by the hail. Kingfishers were busy zooming around and wood ducks were cruising down the creek – all was well!

Continuing on, I found a flock of Golden-crowned Kinglets foraging in the understory. There were more Eastern Phoebes and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers than the previous day, so at some point during the night more birds moved into the conservancy. A little further down I heard a familiar chip-note belonging to a Yellow-rumped Warbler. The first one is always exciting because it's the leader in a succession of warbler waves to come. Though they're one of the most common warblers in North America, these birds are no less a participant in one of the greatest animal migrations on Earth. Common or not, they're beautiful birds to look at.

Location: Pheasant Branch
Observation date: 4/4/11
Number of species: 36

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch

Yellow-rumped Warbler © 2011 Mike McDowell

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