Wild About Warblers!

May 12, 2015

The spring migration of warblers is underway and I’ve been heading out almost every morning to capture new images of these tiny gems of the forests and fields. Warblers are not only dazzling, with their brilliant shades of yellow, green, blue and red, they also are an inspiration to those of us who consider the magnitude of their migration north from Central and South America. Tiny bundles of energy, warblers often feed all day and fly all night. Some of them stop in Missouri, set up housekeeping for the summer and raise their young, while others continue on toward cooler climates, such as Canada and beyond.

In this edition, I’m featuring three warblers I have photographed in the last two weeks. The featured image this week is Cape May warbler, proudly perched in a Norway spruce tree in Tower Grove Park. An absolutely beautiful bird, with its chestnut eye patch and black/yellow chest, the Cape May is an uncommon sight in Missouri. As a matter of fact, the Cape May doesn’t even get a paragraph in “Birds of Missouri” with other uncommon transients such as the golden-winged warbler or the blackburnian warbler. Although the Cape May breeds in the north, especially Canada, its migration route is typically east of Missouri. I photographed this male two days ago in the wonderfully diffuse light of thin overcast.



When a lemon drop falls from heaven and lands on a tree limb, it becomes a prothonotary warbler. That is what popped in my mind when this prothonotary landed only a few feet from me at the trailhead of Lost Valley Trail on Weldon Spring Conservation Area a few weeks ago. The prothonotary, a favorite of many birders, loves riparian areas near streams and rivers and this one was no exception. This male was so cooperative that I finally quit taking pictures and headed on down the trail, leaving it with its heartfelt song, best described as “tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet.”



This little fella is a golden-winged warbler that Joyce and I found right here on the farm a few weeks ago. It was a warm Saturday afternoon and the light was nice so we decided to take a hike down to the pond to look for birds. As soon as we arrived to water’s edge, Joyce said, “I see some yellow!” We both looked up and saw this beautiful golden-winged warbler in a willow tree. Listed in “Birds of Missouri” as an uncommon transient, I was delighted to get the shot, my second for the species. The golden-winged warbler, which sometimes hybridizes with the blue-winged warbler, has been in decline over the last 50 years.

I hope to add more new warbler images to my portfolio over the next few weeks. If I get some good ones, I’ll be sure to share them here.

Thanks for looking,


Email me at:  Natureframes@Rocketmail.net






4 comments on “Wild About Warblers!”

  1. Hi Danny,

    I found your blog and signed up. Your pictures are beautiful, and the text is well written, so it’s really nice!

    Thanks for some good birding this morning. I hope that Joyce will soon be joining you and I will see both of you on the birding trails.

    🙂 Mary Parks


  2. Such golden notes in this post! Having seen you at work (and having tried, in a short time, to get a pic of the Cape May Warbler) I know just the kind of patience and grit required to get even a passable image. These, of course, are outstanding! Thank you. I’ve not yet seen (or not yet identified) the golden-winged warbler…hope I get to see one at Shaw Nature Reserve, where three of us are syncing up to go on Saturday. 😀

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