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.