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Palm Warbler

Posted on Apr 24, 2016

Yesterday morning I went out to bird for a bit and had my sights set on a few target species. It may have only been April 23, but the birds have been early thanks to the warm past couple of months, and some of our spring migratory species are already peaking. I definitely wanted to photograph a Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum) in their bright spring yellows before they escaped me to the north for the nesting season. Thankfully this individual delivered, posing for me for about 15 seconds in between foraging.

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I had followed it for a minute along the forest floor and it took notice – that never works. Telling myself to chill out and relax I backed off and let it return to me. That is precisely what it did once it had realized I was content to stay in place and watch while it fed. The photos show it essentially looking back and forth for more insects to devour. Success! However, one of my other hopes was to get great photos of a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher before the leaves came out (they like to stay in those trees) and with so many moving through now…but that was a spectacular failure with birds remaining in the canopy, being terribly backlit, and flitting by far too quickly. At least they nest here with us, and I will be ready for my chance.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator