Saturday, May 22, 2010

Warblers on the Move, Part II

A few more of this week's warbler convention

Prothonotary Warbler
(Not to be confused with a Yellow Warbler -- unless you just see the head)

Wilson's Warbler
(Not to be confused with Mr. T -- though the hairstyle is similar)

Common Yellowthroat
(Not to be confused with The Hamburglar - though they both have that mask)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Warblers on the Move, Part I

Lots of migrating warblers coming through Chicago. These were posing for me. (A few others - such as the elusive Canada Warbler and the Black Throated Blue - refused to sit still enough in a well lit area for me to get a decent photo.)

Palm Warbler

Magnolia Warbler
(Singing to greet the sun on a beautiful May morning)

Black Throated Green Warbler
(who doesn't quite blend in with the green leaves)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Rush of Thrushes

These three thrushes,
flushed from a rushed migration,
were in the brush,
crushing mushy bugs and making quite a hushed fuss,
not wanting to gush about their lush location.

OK. That's enough. I'll stop. ;)

Wood Thrush


Hermit Thrush

(Although it LOOKS thrush-like, the ovenbird is actually in the Warbler family)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rose Breasted Grosbeak

The Rose Breasted Grosbeak is a pretty cool looking bird. I first saw one last year, around this time, high up in a tree. This one was nice enough to perch on a lower limb and sit still for its portrait. Truth be told, the "sitting still" part doesn't seem too out-of-the-ordinary for the Grosbeak. They seem to be a rather "laid-back" bird - nibbling on leaves and seeds - compared to the crazed flitting and jumping of the warblers and flycatchers.

Male Rose Breasted Grosbeak

Female Rose Breasted Grosbeak*

* I REALLY wanted to believe this bird was a new "life list" sparrow or longspur that I hadn't seen before. The more I took pictures, though, the more the beak looked familiar - even though the rest of the bird looked very sparrow-like. Then I saw the male grosbeak with that very telltale beak and realized my "cool new sparrow" was a female Rose Breasted Grosbeak.

Nature plays a joke on me ;)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Tale of Two Cities

A visit to Seattle gave us the opportunity to see the western versions of some of our Chicago birds. Both versions are shown below.

Western Difference: Darker head, Back and Sides are brown

Western Difference: Wings have white spots instead of white bars

Western Difference: Yellow throat instead of White throat