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!

Ocean Trail at Rancho Palos Verdes Preserve, California--2015

Ocean Trail at Rancho Palos Verdes Preserve, California--2015

Joshua Tree National Forest, California, with son Chad and daughter Thuan--2015

Joshua Tree National Forest, California, with son Chad and daughter Thuan--2015
Photo credit: Thuan Tram

Bird banding with Mark Armstrong at Seven Islands State Birding Park - 2014

Bird banding with Mark Armstrong at Seven Islands State Birding Park - 2014
Photo courtesy of Jody Stone

Birds Close-up

Birds Close-up
Photo courtesy of Karen Wilkenson

Enjoying Gray Jays in Churchill, Manitoba

Enjoying Gray Jays in Churchill, Manitoba
Photo courtesy of Blue Sky Expeditions

A dog sled experience with Blue Sky Expeditions, Churchill, MB--2014

A dog sled experience with Blue Sky Expeditions, Churchill, MB--2014
Photo courtesy of Blue Sky Expeditions

Churchill, Manitoba--2014

Churchill, Manitoba--2014
Photo courtesy of Blue Sky

2014 Hummingbird Festival

2014 Hummingbird Festival
Photo courtesy of Jody Stone

Smithsonian National Zoo with one of my Whooping Crane art banners and son, John--2014

Smithsonian National Zoo with one of my Whooping Crane art banners and son, John--2014

Muir Woods on the Dipsea Trail at Stinson Beach, California--2014

Muir Woods on the Dipsea Trail at Stinson Beach, California--2014
Photo courtesy of Wendy Pitts Reeves

Checking out the gulls at Stinson Beach--2014

Checking out the gulls at Stinson Beach--2014
Photo courtesy of Wendy Pitts Reeves

Discovery Hike in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska--2012

Discovery Hike in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska--2012
Photo courtesy of Ruth Carter
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