Many birders complain that warblers in the fall are confusing and just green. They have shed their bright spring feathers and are now mostly ‘dressed’ for winter. Well, these two warblers I photographed in the past week demonstrate that there are some warbler species that are still very colorful.
The bird above may be ‘green’ but it is a yellow-green that is often called chartreuse, a vary vibrant and unusual shade of green that makes this bird stand out. It has full whitish eye rings and yellowish wing bars to add to it’s distinctive appearance.
As noted in the top two photos this is a Chestnut-sided Warbler. However, it is a young female bird that was born this year (and now in it’s ‘first winter’ plumage) so it does not have any of the chestnut colored plumage for which this species is named and that is found on males and adult female birds. Chestnut-sided Warblers are found mostly in eastern U.S. states, parts of mid-western states and across a large swath of southern Canada. However, some warblers wander outside of the usual range as this bird did in flying into Colorado where I photographed it.
The third photo shows a warbler that is even more vibrant with it’s bold yellow, black and white plumage. This one is a Townsend’s Warbler, a species found in western U.S. states including Alaska and far western Canada.
Yes, there is some vegetation in front of the face of the bird in the photo above. I liked the view it gives of the very olive green plumage on it’s head and back, with bright yellow on face and breast and a hint of the bright white wing bars. And birds are not always observed as shown in most published photos with pristine views of the face.
As I noted in my blog on Migrating Warblers earlier this month, though most warblers do not go to seed feeders they do come to backyards that offer good habitat, food in the form of insects, and especially water. Like most birds they are not interested in manicured lawns which provide little to meet their needs or yards that use a lot of insecticides since they are insect eaters. They prefer layered vegetation–with tall trees,then shorter trees or large shrubs, then smaller shrubs.
Have you seen either of these or other warblers migrating through your area?