Pine Warblers in Pine Trees

Saturday, April 13

If you were wondering why you didn’t get your usual Thursday evening Nature Frames, I was unable to write and post the edition due to an electrical outage here at the farm. A vicious storm front came through Wednesday evening and knocked out most of the power in our community. After almost three days, power was restored at 12:15 a.m. last night. To say the outage was more than highly inconvenient would be an exaggeration but we sure were happy to get our power back on, especially with temps dipping to the freezing mark outside. So….I’m posting Nature Frames a little late but it shouldn’t make these pine warblers any less enjoyable.

Last Friday morning I went to Cape Girardeau on business so I stopped at Perry County Lake for some bird photography along the way. My friend Mark Haas, who lives in Jackson, had advised me earlier that I could find some pine warblers in the woods near the lake’s parking lot. I’d never photographed a pine warbler, so I was excited at the prospect. My arrival at the lake coincided with the arrival of the sun so I was in pretty good shape for some bird photography. I immediately noticed ducks on the water, including buffleheads, teal, ruddy ducks, and other species. I didn’t spend too much time trying to photograph them as they swam away from me every time I approached the shoreline. They were close enough for a shot but duck-butt images are rarely interesting.

I began searching for Mark’s pine warblers in the pine trees near the parking lot but could not see or hear any of them. I ran across several species of yard birds during my search and even made a nice bluebird image, but no pine warblers were to be found. Finally, I began a walk around the lake’s trail in search of other wildlife to photograph. I saw a few more birds during my walk but they were quite uncooperative, as birds can be on certain days. My best opportunities came at a couple of flat areas high above water’s edge that had recently been burned. I found towhees, bluebirds, chickadees and other birds foraging in these open areas with little concern for my presence. After a few hours, I started my walk back to the truck as I didn’t want to miss my lunch appointment. When I made it back to the truck, I heard the powerful trill of a pine warbler and looked up just in time to see a bright yellow male singing its heart out. I could even see its throat muscles vibrating as it made its presence known to the world. The light was a little harsh but not too bad so I began photographing the male and several other pine warblers, many at eye level.

As I skirted the edge of the pine stand, photographing the energetic little warblers, a school bus approached. I thought to myself, “This can’t be good.” Later, out of the corner of my eye I saw a teacher approaching and stopped to talk to him. He asked me where I planned to photograph the rest of the morning because he didn’t want his students to disturb me. I told him that I had already completed my walk and would be finishing up with the pine warblers shortly. He shook my hand and advised me that he would take his students the other way to keep them out of my hair. After I thanked the teacher for his consideration, I thought about how nice most people are wherever I end up photographing in Missouri. I’ve been in deep urban areas and even deeper Ozark areas, only to find the same thoughtful and considerate souls who simply want to visit for awhile and find out what I’m after with my camera. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve also met a few gems from the other side of the pendulum’s arc but not as often as you might think.

I’ve included two images of pine warblers in this post. The feature image is of a mature bird and the second image is of a younger bird in juvenile plumage. As often is the case, the younger bird is as beautiful, in its own way, as the adult. I was happy not only to get an image of pine warblers, a new species for me, but pine warblers in pine trees. Thanks to Mark Haas for steering me to success. By the way, I hope you all like warblers because I’m going to be chasing them over the next several weeks and if I have any luck, I’ll be sharing the images here.

DJB_PCL_2013_0452Click on image to enlarge; back arrow to return

Thanks for looking,


Feature Image:  Canon 1D Mark IV; Canon 500/4 L IS Lens with 1.4 TC; 1/640 sec @ f/6.3; RAW Capture; Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod with Wimberley II Head; Converted and Processed in Canon DPP

Bonus Image:  Canon 1D Mark IV; Canon 500/4 L IS Lens with 1.4 TC; 1/1000 sec @ f/6.3; RAW Capture; Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod with Wimberley II Head; Converted and Processed in Canon DPP

4 comments on “Pine Warblers in Pine Trees”

  1. Three days of power outage and you manage to get Nature Frames out! That’s very impressive….enjoyed the Warbler post a lot.

  2. My second grade class here at Immanuel Lutheran School loves your picture of the pine warbler. Earlier this year when we studied our animal unit, we watched a video of the lyre bird and were amazed at how creative our God is! Thanks for sharing your awesome pictures!

    • I’ve seen the lyre bird video and agree it is amazing! I’m glad to hear the kids like the pine warbler. I think they will like what I have in store for this Thursday as well.

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