Saturday, May 28, 2011

Kentucky Warblers in Madison!

My records indicate May 26th, 2004 as the last time I saw a Kentucky Warbler ... until today! A few days ago, Charles Naeseth called to tell me he heard one singing at Owen Park, and then this morning Jesse Ellis posted a sighting on the Wisconsin Birding Network; one has been present at Hoyt Park for the past several days. I decided to try and find this bird because Hoyt is a lot closer than Wyalusing State Park. I'm sure this species still nests in the Baraboo Hills, but I haven't had one at Baxter's Hollow in a long time.

I went to Hoyt Park after work today and could hear the Kentucky Warbler singing just as soon as I opened my car door. Entering the woods, I walked a short distance down the trail in the direction of its repeating "prr-reet prr-reet prr-reet" song. As the singing grew louder and louder, I knew I was getting pretty close to the bird. And then, all of a sudden, there it was, perched on a branch and looking directly at me!

Not that I'm big on listing these days, but having a Kentucky Warbler for 2011 leaves only Worm-eating, Kirtland's, and Yellow-breasted Chat for Wisconsin Warblers this year. Though two Black-throated Gray Warblers have been reported in the Madison area this spring, I'm certainly not counting on seeing one, but you never know!

Kentucky Warbler © 2011 Mike McDowell


  1. Great pic..was a great Warbler Weekend up here near Kewaunee...the leaves on trees develop about 2 weeks later than Green Bay because of proximity to Lake Michigan...I think those warblers like to show off, so they hang out where we can see them easier...also many along Fox R bluffs in Allouez..females outnumbered males 10:1.

  2. I am commenting here for the first time. Your photos are always amazingly beautiful, and this one really stands out! Congrats on your great find!