Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Yellow-throated Warbler

The first species of the neo-tropical songbirds has migrated back to the Audubon Center at the Francis Beidler Forest to breed. Later in the year, the Yellow-throated Warbler (Dendroica dominica) will be difficult to see through the emerging vegetation as the bird occupies the top third of the forest.

The diet of the Yellow-throated Warbler is not well-known though it does include spiders. In fact, bird mortality has been reported due to entanglement in spider webs. The Yellow-throated Warbler bathes more than most warblers and has the longest bill of the wood warblers. They can be seen feeding upside down on the trunk of a tree similar to the feeding style of a nuthatch.

Even in yesterday’s heavy rains and between the claps of thunder, the song of the male Yellow-throated Warbler could be heard proclaiming its territory and availability. In the next few weeks, additional species will return and begin their breeding cycle. It’s about to get loud and colorful in the swamp!

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