Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bay-breasted Warbler

Reluctant to reveal himself, this Bay-breasted Warbler hid from me for half an hour.  Preferring to stay on the opposite side of the apple tree for safety, he was a challenge to photograph.

Then for unknown reasons he came out of cover and perched on a bare branch with the attitude of, “OK, if you won’t leave me alone, get your damn pictures and go away”.  

Fair enough…front, back and two profiles…thank you. 

Then he went back undercover and I knew I wasn’t going to see him again.

He got his wish. I went away.

Large for a warbler, the Bay-breasted Warbler attracts a lot of attention.  Looking designer-dressed, he stands out at this time of year.  Sporting a rich rufous crown with contrasting black and white wing stripes, he’s in breeding form.  For most of the year male and female Bay-breasted Warblers have a similar, subtle appearance.  It's difficult to tell them apart for the untrained eye.  But, now it's time for him to shine.

Male birds commonly arrive first to the breeding grounds to establish territories.  The females come later, but they’re passing through right now.  I didn’t see a female Bay-breasted Warbler. I didn’t hear this male singing for one either, but they have a very high-pitched song and I could have missed it. 

He looks to be a healthy and handsome specimen of a Bay-breasted Warbler. He's probably on his way to Canada.  He only has a few short miles to travel, after migrating all the way from South America. He should be in Canada soon.

I can picture him proudly perched on a prominent pinnacle when he gets to Canada, showing  off his new colors.