Mariton: Yellow Warblers and other birds

May 10, 2018

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager.  Photos by Carole Mebus.

Yellow Warbler

We went birding at Giving Pond this week. As expected, we saw and heard lots of Yellow Warblers.  In fact, we think we saw a pair building a nest.  This bright yellow bird is yellow all over.  The male has the red streaking on its breast (seen in the above photo), which the female lacks.  This species is a little less active than some of the other warblers, but can still be a challenge to keep track of when the leaves unfurl.  Notice how small the sycamore leaves are at this point of the spring.  When the leaves are “full grown”, they will completely cover a Yellow warbler.

Female Orchard Oriole

Another yellow bird is the female Orchard Oriole.  I expected to see one or two Orchard Orioles at Giving Pond. We ended up seeing several.  The male Orchard Oriole is slightly smaller than a Baltimore Oriole and is a rust red instead of the vibrant orange of the Baltimore Oriole.  (Some compared it to the color of a male Robin’s breast, which is a pretty good match.)  The female of both species is quite yellow with grayish wings.  Side by side, I would probably have trouble telling the two females apart.  We saw several males Orchard Orioles chasing this female, so it is a safe bet that this is a female Orchard Oriole.

Baltimore Oriole (male)

Here is a photo of a male Baltimore Oriole from Tuesday’s walk. They really are stunning and much more common than most people think.  If you learn their song you will find them “all over” during the summer.

Indigo Bunting

This Indigo Bunting was spotted on the ground as we started our walk. Not a normal place to see them, but everyone got a good look at it.  A huge thanks to Carole Mebus who scouts a lot of the locations, and takes great photos of the things we see.  Considering how hard it is to just spot some of these birds, Carole does an excellent job photographing the birds on our walks.