Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Oaks flower, birds arrive


The storm that brought rain to our area was driven by warmer air. And so the warblers arrived! Yesterday after the rain abated I just had to step outside my front door to hear the telltale warbles and buzzes of some neo-tropical migrants. The tall oaks are in flower and way up there, flitting amongst newly opened leaves, were the tiny birds feeding on the catkins’ pollinating insects. The “zee, zee-zee” buzz of the black-throated green warbler (Dendroica virens) was plainly heard. I could see the black-and-white warbler (Mniotilta varia), an acrobat on a high branch, as it foraged for insects along the bark. The yellow-rumped warblers (Dendroica coronata) are singing now and flashing their breeding plumage. Early this morning I awoke to the song of a hermit thrush and dashed outside, to hear the dawn chorus. I did not have to use my bleary eyes in the grey light. I just listened. Besides the thrush, a Baltimore oriole chimed in along with a Carolina wren, blue jays and cardinals. The house wren was singing its heart out, while perched on one of the nesting boxes that hang from the dogwood tree.