This is the 1-year Anniversary of Toribird’s blog series, and she’s kicking off summer with a great blog post.
Though spring migration is all but over, there is still lots to see! Most warblers pass through Philly only on migration, but some breed right in the area, staying the whole summer! A couple of these charming residents are the colorful Yellow Warbler and the striking Black-and-White Warbler. Both are common in forested areas like The Woodlands, and their appearance is summed up by their names: Yellow Warblers are all yellow, with rusty streaks on the male's belly. Black-and-Whites have long stripes of black and white. Listen for the Black-and-White's song as you bird - it sounds a lot like a squeaky wheel.
In addition to the warblers, another exciting bird in the area is the Cedar Waxwing. These attractive birds get their name from red drops on their wings that resemble sealing wax. They are nomadic with irregular movements, and it seems like a fair bit of them are in the area right now! A good clue to their presence is their very high-pitched, squeaky, whistles or trills. They are very gregarious, meaning that they like to be in a flock with others. So, if you see a waxwing, look around - there are probably lots more nearby!
Another bird to keep your eye out for is the Mississippi Kite. While rare this far north, there has been a relatively high amount of them around in the past month. If you see one, it will probably be flying overhead. Kites' pointed wings, darker wingtips, smooth gray underparts, and graceful flight can point you towards an ID. Keep checking the sky while you bird - you might catch a kite!
And now, let's talk about what Summer might be best known for - it's breeding season! Lots of songbirds are building nests and feeding hungry babies. Some already have fledged, are are hopping around, stubby-winged and fuzzy, exploring the world beyond their nest. You may have heard that a baby bird will be ignored by its parents if touched by a human - this is not true. While birds are very well taken care of by attentive parents, and there is usually no need for us to interfere, if a baby is in immediate danger (e.g. being stalked by a cat or in the middle of the street) it doesn't hurt to move it to safety.
Written by: Toribird
For more information about Toribird and her birding tips, check out this past blog post.