With its gray
cap, green back and slender bill the Tennessee Warbler is quite a dapper fellow
in the tree tops during migration.This
spring I saw an abundance of Tennessee Warblers at Magee Marsh where they stopped to refuel before heading on to their boreal forest breeding grounds.
Many people were
confusing the Warbling Vireo with this handsome fellow.Though some may think they look similar, they do look quite
different as these two photos show.The
Tennessee has that sleek thin beak where the Warbling Vireo as a stout hooked
beek.The dark eyeline and green back of
the Tennessee is also absent in the vireo.
They are not just
different in appearance, but very different in behavior as well.The Warbling Vireo methodically moves from
branch to branch with a fairly consistent foraging speed, the Tennessee
Warbler on the other hand, moves like lighting in comparison.This behavior easily separates the two
Of course, I love
photographing both, and though I have just returned from Magee Marsh I am
already dreaming of next spring.But in
the mean time, I’ll prepare to photograph these lovely jewels on their return
migration in the fall.
Top photo: Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/320 sec. @ f/6.3
Warblers are one of my favorite species of birds to
photograph, and I have just spent two weeks in one of my favorite places
photographing these spring beauties. During the month of May and untold number of
warblers and other neotropical migrants pass through Magee Marsh on the south
side of Lake Erie in the state of Ohio.
Blackpoll warblers were a plentiful species this year. Along
with Cape May and Tennessee Warblers all seem to have had an exceptional 2017
breeding season due to the spruce budworm outbreak last year.In more than a decade of traveling to Magee
Marsh, I have never seen so many Blackpolls at Magee.
The Blackpoll Warbler is a champion long distance
migrant.Wintering in northern South
America it travels north through the eastern United States to it reach its
nesting grounds in the northern boreal forest that stretches from Newfoundland
to western Alaska.
On its return trip in the fall most Blackpolls migrate east
across the northern latitudes to the east coast and then turn south crossing
the western Atlantic to South America in a non stop 3 to 4 day trip. Blackpolls make the longest migration of all
the warblers, some traveling as much as 16,000 miles round trip. Nature
is truly amazing!
Top photo: Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f 4, exposure 1/125 second @ f 8.
Bottom Photo: Nikon D800,
Nikkor 500mm f 4, exposure 1/200 second
@ f 8.
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge near Titusville, Florida
I have seen many American Bitterns over my birding career,
but seldom have I seen them out in the open like this bird I found along the
Black Point Wildlife Drive in Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.Most bitterns I see are hidden or partially
hidden within the reed beds.
This image was taken just after sunrise, just as sunlight
began to ripple over a water impoundment berm of the refuge drive.As the slight glow of light on the bittern
began to intensify it quickly turned and walked back into the mangroves to
escape the brunt of the morning light.
A beautiful bird, the American Bittern is created to blend
into its natural environment.It
striations of white, cream, cinnamon, and browns make this species the king of camouflage.
Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, Exposure 1/80th second @ f/5.6