Monday, June 22, 2009

Black-throated Green Warbler

I can't think of a better way to get acquainted with a new bird than to sketch it. In fact, studying images and field guides while trying to get colors, feathers, bill shapes and other features at least close, seemed to endear this warbler to me even more.
And while taking images only intended to help identify her, it was another pleasant surprise to find that I had captured her with a worm in her bill.
Visits with the tiny wood-warblers are brief at best, their movements busy and quick, unless of course, you have a male singing. This sweet female was foraging in the rhododendron brush along the Look Rock trail of the Foothills Parkway in east Tennessee, a scenic highway that winds through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Native Carolina rhododendron in bloom on the trail.

My Tennessee breeding atlas says: "The breeding biology of the Black-throated Green Warbler in Tennessee is poorly known.....Elsewhere in the warbler's range, it nests at heights of from near ground level to 22 m...." I couldn't help but wonder if she had a nest somewhere in that thicket.
As you can see in the above image, the female's throat is whitish rather than black. But the male of the species has a promient black throat providing a rich contrast to the olive and yellow head.
She was a sweet surprise for a 90-degree, muggy summer solstice hike on Father's Day. And because I had the good fortune of being with an experienced birder, I also became more familiar with several other warblers by song, the Chestnut-sided, Hooded, Pine and Worm-eating warblers. Close by, we also enjoyed the persistent singing of both Red-eyed vireos and Blue-headed vireos. In all, we saw or heard 20 species.
In the image below from Look Rock tower, you can see a few of the mountain ridges through the mist.
Warblers--another reason to love the mountains.

Linked to Bird Photography Weekly #43 at Birdfreak.com, bringing awareness to the conservation of our world's birds.

11 comments:

  1. My husband sometimes smokes a cigar
    to deter the gnats!

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  2. Thanks for that suggestion, Susan. Another local naturalist told me she was sure they had teeth! At least I now know they didn't single me out.

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  3. Oh, I wish I could do that! Your work expresses the very soul of the little birds.

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  4. She's lovely.
    Glad you made it through the gnats and hot/muggy weather and catured those photos to share.

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  5. Awesome sketches, Vickie! You captured the beauty of the Warbler.

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  6. Beautiful...beautiful. I love your sketches of the warbler....gorgeous!!

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  7. Stunning details in your paintings. WOW

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  8. Lovely, Vicki - you're blessed to have such a talent, especially when it lets you get to know your birds even better. I'm in awe of those who can recreate the real world on paper.

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  9. Beautiful as always Vickie!

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  10. Damn Vic, from the day I 'met' you .. as always you show such skill and such an uniqe way for me to look at things

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  11. Beautiful Vickie... I don't know Warblers nor have ever seen one. Looks like I need to take a hike near Look Rock.

    We spray bug spray all over us when we go hiking. I cannot stand the gnats and other bugs.

    Have a great weekend.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete

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