Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Warblering Milestones

I've been crazy busy lately at work and with my Mom visiting, and haven't had a whole lot of time to write. So, I thought I'd share some of the more exciting warbler occurrences in my yard along with a reminder that enjoying the outdoors is all about BEING in the outdoors, not just the photos.

Two weeks ago I was sitting on my East stoop (a favorite morning coffee spot), watching all the warblers flitting through our trees when all of a sudden a group way up in the tippy-top of our ash trees caught my eye. It was a group of four Golden-winged Warblers picking bugs out of the ash buds.

After watching them for a bit it dawned on me that maybe I should grab my camera.These are the best photos I could get, but it's not about the photos, it's about that moment of realization that these besieged birds were actually right there, in my yard.



Golden-winged Warblers are in serious decline, one of the fastest declining species of birds in North America with an overall decline of 76% (Cornell Lab of Ornithology). And of the surviving Golden-wingeds? More than 95% of them breed in the Upper Great Lakes area of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Manitoba, with Minnesota having the largest population of breeding Golden-wingeds in the world.

This is what they look like up close and personal:


Yep. Of all the odd timing, just the day before I saw the group in my yard, we ended our weekly Northfield banding session on a high note with this "fancy bird," as Professor Dan called it. It is absolutely stunning to see up close. One of the coolest markings? The eyestripe runs so that the top of the bird's feathers around the eye are white - here's a closer look:


Again, not the greatest photo but the memory of seeing this bird in hand will stay with me forever.

Getting back to the excitement in Afton, later that same day, I opened our front door to go out to the garage and saw a bright glint of blue flash through the air. At first I thought it was one of the dozens of yellow-rumpeds we've had around.

Nope. A Cerulean Warbler. IN MY DRIVEWAY.

Always, always have wanted to see one of these beautiful little birds and never have. Watched it flitting into the air to catch bugs, using our Thule carrier rack as its launching base.

After several minutes of stunned silence absorbing this sight, I ran and grabbed the camera. It's really, really hard to take good photos when you're jumping up and down in excitement (as evidenced here):



Again, while none of these photos are really great, they all remind me of an incredible day in my yard, and the opportunity to see a warbler that may not be around much longer up close and personal.

Capture the moment in your heart and mind first, then grab a camera. What's the point of enjoying the outdoors if all you're doing is using a viewfinder, right?

Oh, and remember to jump and soar with joy to celebrate those special moments.




Linking up with other bird lovers through Wild Bird Wednesday. Check them out!

25 comments:

  1. They're all beautiful!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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    1. Thanks so much, Gary. Nice of you to visit while you have so much going on... thoughts are with you.

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  2. Oh nice. I live in Az and I think the warblers here are light yellow.

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    1. Thanks for visiting! I wonder if you're seeing Yellow Warblers - they're beautiful birds...

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  3. Wow! That is awesome! Two wonderful birds!

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    1. Thanks, Dawn! I've been following along on your blog - Arlington looks like quite the jewel, but it keeps rejecting my login for commenting and asking to set up a new account :-(

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  4. Beautiful warblers and photos! Lucky you, I would have been so excited to see both of these birds. Happy Birding!

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  5. how awesome! both birds i've never seen!

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  6. Oh wonderful shots! Both are so sweet and tiny!

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  7. Great photos, Tami! I've never seen the two species either.

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  8. Beautiful little birds - so tiny and so perfect. To see and then to photograph - that's very special!

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  9. What colours; and great sense of scale here the way they're photographed!

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  10. Tami, both of these birds are stunning and both of them would have me jumping for joy too! Wonderful post.

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  11. Birding from your own porch with coffee - thats a fine combination!

    Did a look book research and the eye of the Little Pied C are always that colour - so its not just a breeding thing!

    Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW

    Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. Wow - that's cool, Stewart. It's such a cute little bird...

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  12. "Photos not really great" your words not mine. I think they are fabulous, what great little birds, all new to me.
    Gordon.

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  13. Just reading your post makes me want to jump up and down in excitement! You have great birding karma! Can't believe they waited for you while you got your camera. Both gorgeous birds. It is sad to hear that the golden one is endangered.

    Your point about enjoying whether or not you get a picture is a good one. I used to be thrilled just to SEE, now I wish I could get a good picture and I need to stop that! (BTW, your pictures are excellent!)

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    1. Thanks for the nice note, Sallie. It's always nice to meet fellow nature lovers :-)

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  14. Two gorgeous warbler varieties tht I have obly dreamed of photographing! How lucky you are to see them. Your photos are great!

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  15. You sure do get excellent birds in your yard!

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  16. Two stunning warblers visiting your yard this year! I have only caught glimpses of lovely Golden-winged Warblers and I have yet to see a Cerulean. I can recall many instances where I spotted a pretty bird for the first time and just stood there, mouth agape, admiring its beauty. For some reason, capturing a photograph of the bird seemed to have eluded my mind. Wonderful photographs of these to beauties, Tami!

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  17. MARVELOUS! Love these!
    You have GREAT yard birds :)

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