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Northern Parula

Posted on May 10, 2016

Here we have the Northern Parula (Setophaga americana) as photographed while feeding this past Sunday morning after a busy night of migration. These little birds sound like zippers with a hard ending, or sometimes the “That’s all Folks!” song from Looney Tunes after several fast da and be notes. Those white eye crescents stand out from afar on a blue gray bird with a white belly featuring that bright yellow throat and upper chest with a reddish brown band.

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Northern Parulas are a gleaning species, snatching insects and spiders from tree branches and especially caterpillars around leaves. They were the most common warbler I saw (or rather mostly heard) today in yards and around woodlands. If you have never had the chance to enjoy one, this is the time! Get outside tomorrow and let May give you some more life birds.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator