Birding Notes

Reflections on birds and other wildlife on the edge of a southern woodland

Friday, May 01, 2009

Black-throated Green Warbler

Early in the afternoon, I was sitting out front after lunch for a few minutes – much too nice a day to stay inside – listening to the calls of a Great-crested Flycatcher, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Phoebe, and a couple of Brown-headed Nuthatches, and the songs of a Yellow-throated Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Northern Parula and Chipping Sparrow, and watching our Bluebird pair continue to bring food to the nest box – when I heard a buzzy song in the treetops that caught my attention – trees-trees-whispering trees. I’m not good at recognizing most wood warbler songs, but this is one I’ve always especially loved – a Black-throated Green Warbler, a small, vividly-patterned woodland bird that looks like its name – with a greenish back, bright yellow face, olive crown, black throat and bold patterns of black and white in its wings and flanks. Its song is usually described as something like zee-zee-zee-zooo-zeet, but somewhere I heard the more poetic description, and that’s what I’ve always remembered. Trees-trees-whispering trees.

I could see it rustling through the highest part of the treetops, but the most I could make out was a glimpse of black as it moved, so I never really saw it, and then it disappeared and I couldn’t hear its song anymore, so it must have flown on.


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