Saturday, July 23, 2011

Black and White Warbler - Female or juvenile?

 So many times a walk in the woods will yield a number of birds hiding behind leaves and branches or offer up distant glimpses of an active bird just passing by. Sometimes they are unidentifiable and I wonder if I missed something really special.
 Then, there are the rare and dazzling moments when a little bird will drop out of hiding for an extended visit. This year the Black and White Warbler seems more inclined to do that than some other birds.

Such was the case with this friendly female Black and White Warbler. She seemed to be people watching as she stayed low and near me for quite a while. While I have had this experience with both male and female Black and Whites, I am wondering, based on the markings of this bird, if it might be a juvenile.



 This one decided to talk to me. It has  a very thin voice as it says "seet, seet." The sound it very easy to identify and assists in the location of this bird. Black and Whites nest at the base of trees typically in a well-sheltered area. It is very common to walk through the woods and hear their thin voice coming out of a thick clump of greenery but be unable to see them.

I read that this bird was once known as a Black and White Creeper because of its habit of creeping around tree trunks in search of insects hidden under the bark.  It also will work its way out onto branches and is often seen hanging upside down.

For comparison, I have added this photo of a male Black and White. Their markings are much darker, more plentiful and bolder.

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