Friday, June 3, 2011

Not much in this world is black and white, but...

... the Black and White Warbler is just that - black and white.  This is one of the most easily identifiable warblers.

The Black and White Warbler was the second warbler to return this season arriving shortly after the Yellow-rumped Warbler.  While they are not really plentiful yet, they are here.
 This little bird also vocalizes in a distinct squeaky, high-pitched thin sound.  Its song of "wee see" is very different from many of the other singing warblers. It may be likely to first hear this little bird's "pitchy" sound coming from the tree cover before seeing it.

This is my second season of "warblering," and since I can now recognize several of them, I am able to begin rendering their songs to memory. This is one of the ones that I think I have mastered. 
 In fact when I arrived in the woods earlier this week, I heard and recognized the songs of a White-throated Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Swamp Sparrow and the Black and White Warbler. That is a fair start!

 This is likely a female Black and White as females and juveniles have a black line that goes to the eye and buff colored cheeks and throat. They tend to be more washed out in color than the male. Yet, the markings are undeniably those of the Black and White.
On this particular day we came across the pair of Black and White Warbler "playing" and flitting back and forth across the trail. The female seemed to be more into social networking than the male. She would come out and sit on a branch to watch us, while the male seemed to stay better hidden among the branches.
 The B &W will often stay close to the trunk of the tree where they will climb up or down to search for insects in the bark of the tree.
Finally, the male stepped out into the open for a brief moment to allow for an opportunity to get a record shot. While lacking in many ways, this shot does show the distinct dark cheeks and throat as well as the bolder streaking throughout the body.

We should have many opportunities to see this species of warblers all during the summer.

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