Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Waiting for Warblers

Male pine warbler.


In the movie Jeremiah Johnson, the character Bear Claw Chris Lapp (played by The Waltons' grandpa Will Geer) says "Winter's a long time going. Stays long this high."

The old mountain dude was totally on the money with that one.

He could have just as easily been talking about this endless winter we're enjoying.

I am ready for warblers and spring. So far here at Indigo Hill, we've had exactly TWO warbler species in 2008. Yellow-rumped and pine. And it's April 15! No ovenbird yet. No Louisiana waterthrush. No palm warbler (but hey, our palm trees aren't fruiting yet).

Here are a few images of the (notice I said THE, as in the ONLY) pine warbler we've had so far. He stopped by, attracted by all the activity at the feeders, and helped himself to a few peanut bits, some sunflower hearts, and a few bill-fulls of suet dough.

Then he split for points north.

It's hard to be patient for spring's arrival—and it seems to get harder each year.


Male pine warbler checking out bark cracks and sapsucker holes in a birch trunk for insects.


Sneaking closer to the bird feeders.


Dispatching a sunflower heart. Pine warblers survive cold weather by sheer resourcefulness.

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