Wood warblers are among the most beautiful and elusive birds to observe. During fall migration they become even more challenging, with many changing from their brilliant breeding plumage into more subtle neutral shades, making it harder to both see them and to distinguish species.
The Nashville Warbler, shown above and below, is one warbler species that does not dramatically change in the fall, but retains much of its breeding plumage coloration. This warbler is named after Nashville, Tennessee, the location where it was first observed in 1811, by Alexander Wilson, the man who named the species. Since Nashville is my birth place and where I spent my childhood years, my curiosity has always peaked when hearing reports of both Nashville warblers and Tennessee warblers as they migrate through Tennessee, but until last weekend, I had never seen either. Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of seeing both these species for the very first time, and up close, at a banding session at Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge.
When painting an image, an artist strives to create unity with color and contrast, and with the repetition and mixing of colors that unite the finished work. In nature we find this same unity occurring naturally, as though a Divine Artist has picked up a brush and painted each bird with the most incredible skill and beauty. Add to this the complex function of each unique characteristic that is found in a bird species, and you have what I consider to be one of the greatest wonders of nature.
Click on the links to see more about bird-banding and Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge.
You may also enjoy visiting the Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge website.
More of my posts on warblers can be found at these links: Wood Warblers and New River Birding and Nature Festival
Visit Cornell's information pages on the Nashville Warbler and the Tennessee Warbler
Information about the tickseed sunflower