Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Winter Delights--Yellow-rumped Warblers

Winter is a special time for watching birds.  For one thing, bare limbs make birds easy to see.  And for the second, you often get to see birds that you don't having during the warm breeding season.  In Tennessee, Yellow-rumped Warblers are one of those birds.
They breed in northern states and Canada, so we only get to see them while they're migrating or if you're lucky, when they chose your yard for their wintering grounds.  I have been so lucky this year.  Above you see a sketch I made of one of these warblers frequently seen hopping around under the feeders, and for the first time, I saw one sitting on my sunflower feeder picking up seeds.
More normally seen flittering around in evergreens eating insects and grubs, its always a surprise to find one sitting still enough to capture a photo.  But this winter season, I've been fortunate to see them frequently and engaged in a number of foraging activities.
They are what I call "my favorite bird of the week".  It is impossible to watch their busy personalities without wanting to capture that distinctive attitude in a sketch. While perched on that feeder, this warbler gave sharp warning chirps to the other birds and chased away even the tufted titmice that happened to land on the feeder.
Above, after feeding on the ground and in the flower pots for a while, this warbler seemed to respond to the warmth of the sun and began to maneuver all around the trunk and limbs of the hemlock appearing to be finding insects or grubs.

To see more images of the yellow-rumped warblers visiting this winter click here.
To see their beautiful breeding plumage visit Cornell All About Birds:  Yellow-rumped warbler

And to see what's been keeping me busy and away from blogging in the past few months, visit the new expanded version of the Discovery Birds Activity Book--36 pages and 75 illustrations!

7 comments:

  1. Love your sketches. It won't be long and the Yellow-rumps will be coming through here on their way north. The book looks great. What age group is it for? I have a 5 year old nephew that loves nature. He reads a little ahead of his age but I wonder if it would be too much for him??

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  2. Thank you, Lisa.

    The activity book is targeted for third grade level with a range of first through sixth grade. The younger grade levels in the range will need assistance with reading and answering questions.

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  3. wonderful post Vickie - I've nominated your blog for an award to help people discover you, love your work!

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  4. Popped over to see you blog after reading about it on Sharon Whitley's. Your studies are lovely. I will be visiting again!

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  5. Sharon, thank you! Enjoyed visiting the Rambling Artist, Snowdonia and Gary Jones Photography--all rich with beauty and interest.

    Polly, glad to meet you and thank you!

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  6. Your sketches are so wonderful and love the washes you've applied!

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  7. Clean simple washes of the bird that are lovely and sweet. The colors on the warbler's feathers in the photo look soft and muted as to disguising itself in the winter environment.

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Welcome! I am glad to hear your comments, questions and feedback! Vickie

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