Blog stats

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wilson's Warbler arrives

Late yesterday afternoon, I was relaxing on my patio, stretched out in the chaise and staring up at the dusky sky where Chimney Swifts were wheeling about scooping up the flying insects they found there. There were a dozen of the birds and they were putting on quite a show. What fliers they are!

It was around 7:00 P.M. when my peripheral vision picked up movement in the crape myrtle to my left. There is a hummingbird feeder hanging there and earlier I had been watching several hummingbirds do battle over it. At first I thought this movement was one of those birds, but as I looked closer I realized that the bird I was seeing was a bit bigger.

I picked up my binoculars to get a closer look and bring the bird into focus and saw a tiny warbler flitting around the branches of the tree. It was a yellow bird with a rather dull black cap. I recognized it as a Wilson's Warbler.

Did I have my camera on me so I could record the visit? Of course I didn't! I never do seem to have it handy on these occasions. So, I imported this image from Wikipedia.

My bird's black cap was not this bright and distinct. It may have been a young bird or just the result of a normal molt.

Wilson's Warblers are very small birds, only 4.75" in length and with a wingspan of 7". And on those tiny wings, they fly all the way up into Canada and Alaska to nest in the spring. Then in the fall, they fly all the way back across the continent, many of them passing through our area on their way to Central and South America for the winter. The trips that such birds make on migration twice a year never cease to amaze me.

I will look for my little migrant today and carry my camera with me while I do, but I really don't expect to see him. He looked to me like a bird in a hurry. I imagine he'll be several miles farther south today. I'm just glad that serendipity brought him into my view for a few minutes on a late summer afternoon.


  1. I didn't realize we had our own warbler. (I'm married to Mr. Wilson!) It's a pity you didn't have your camera handy (isn't that always the way?) but glad you got to see him.

    1. Hey, maybe your own personal warbler will visit your yard, too! I was unlucky on this date, but the next day when the bird returned I did have my camera and was able to get some pictures. I included them in my Saturday post.