Wood Warblers Show Off Their Gaudiest Colors At This Time of Year

May 14, 2014

Parula Warbler
Credit Kenneth Cole Schneider / flickr

We are fortunate to live in the northeastern United States with its fabulous display of remarkable, gem-like, wood warblers that pass by in their gaudy spring plumage, and then again in the fall when much drabber, when they are known as confusing fall warblers. These beautifully marked long-distance migrants are some of the best looking birds in the world. These small insectivorous birds spend the winter in the Caribbean, Central and South America and only grace us with their presence during a brief breeding season. Most of their time is spent in the tropics where insects are found all year round.

The wood warblers were not alone as impressive numbers of other and even more colorful birds, if that is possible, in the form of Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore and Orchard Oriole, Eastern Towhee, Indigo Bunting and breeding plumaged American Goldfinches were widespread and on the move. The woods, fields, shorelines, beaches and near shore waters are all alive with migrating birds of one sort or another. May is so good for birds and birding that it really excites interest in the natural world. It is a great time to go birding.

This coming Friday and Saturday is Birdathon, a 24 marathon of attempting to find as many species as possible in a certain area. It is a fundraiser for bird conservation and non-profits including the Massachusetts Audubon Society, specifically the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, Maria Mitchel Association and the Linda Loring Nature Foundation all count on funds raised by pledges during this annual spring event.