Blue-winged warbler: Bonus photo from my last bird walk

Photo by Chris Bosak
A blue-winged warbler sings from a perch in Brookfield, CT, May 2019.

To me anyway, the blue-winged warbler is one of the more strikingly plumaged birds we see in New England. The overall bright yellow plumage is an obvious eye-catcher, but the black eyestripe adds an unmistakable element of coolness to the bird’s appearance. The blue-winged warbler is common in New England and breeds throughout the region. Listen for its insect-like song as you walk along the edge of woods.

Blue-winged warblers have expanded their range northward since the 1800s, which is good and bad news. Why? This is from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology: “In the late 1800s, Blue-winged Warbler populations expanded northward as agricultural fields were abandoned and forest clearcuts started regrowing. This northward expansion increased the frequency of contact with Golden-winged Warblers, a Partners in Flight Red Watch List species, as well as hybridization between the two species. Hybridization and competition between Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers is partially responsible for declining populations of Golden-winged Warblers.”

Nature has a delicate balance.

Latest For the Birds column: Like an old friend

Here is my latest For the Birds column, which runs weekly in The Hour (Norwalk, Ct.) and Keene (N.H.) Sentinel.

Photo by Chris Bosak A Blue-winged Warbler seen at Fairchild Wildflower Sanctuary in Greenwich, Conn., May 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Blue-winged Warbler seen at Fairchild Wildflower Sanctuary in Greenwich, Conn., May 2016.

 

It was like hearing from an old friend.

I used to visit a wildflower sanctuary in southern Connecticut fairly often, especially during the spring migration. It is a great place to find migrants such as Yellow Warblers, Bobolinks, Baltimore Orioles, Scarlet Tanagers, Eastern Kingbirds and, my favorite, Blue-winged Warblers. Not only do Blue-winged Warblers look striking (bright yellow plumage with long, thin black eye stripe), but they sound otherworldly, too. Well, maybe not otherworldly, but definitely not birdlike. They sound more like an insect — a big, buzzing insect that sputters its notes at the end.

It’s a sound I used to hear often when I visited the sanctuary. I made frequent visits there when I lived in nearby Westchester, N.Y. That was more than 10 years ago now. I hadn’t been back since.

Last week, however, the stars aligned to create the perfect scenario for a return visit. I was coming from Westchester and had about two hours to kill Continue reading

A few more warblers from this spring

Photo by Chris Bosak A Black-throated Green Warbler perches in a tree in Danbury, Conn., spring 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Black-throated Green Warbler perches in a tree in Danbury, Conn., spring 2016.

Here are a few shots of warblers I got this spring but haven’t posted yet. So here they are, just kind of thrown at you in no particular order and without much description …

Oh, and there’s a few warbler shots at the end of the post that I took this year and had already posted. You can never have enough warbler photos.

Photo by Chris Bosak A Yellow Warbler perches on a branch in Greenwich, Conn., spring 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Yellow Warbler perches on a branch in Greenwich, Conn., spring 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak A female Yellow-rumped Warbler perches on a branch in Danbury, Conn., spring 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A female Yellow-rumped Warbler perches on a branch in Danbury, Conn., spring 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak A Blue-winged Warbler seen at Fairchild Wildflower Sanctuary in Greenwich, Conn., May 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Blue-winged Warbler seen at Fairchild Wildflower Sanctuary in Greenwich, Conn., May 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak An Ovenbird stands on a log in Danbury, Conn., April 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
An Ovenbird stands on a log in Danbury, Conn., April 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak A Palm Warbler perches on a branch near a pool of water in Selleck's Woods in Darien, Conn., April 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Palm Warbler perches on a branch near a pool of water in Selleck’s Woods in Darien, Conn., April 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak A Yellow-rumped Warbler perches on a branch in Selleck's Woods, Darien, Conn., April 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Yellow-rumped Warbler perches on a branch in Selleck’s Woods, Darien, Conn., April 2016.

Hooded Warbler in Danbury, Ct., spring 2016.

Hooded Warbler in Danbury, Ct., spring 2016.

Another shot or three of the Blue-winged Warbler

Photo by Chris Bosak A Blue-winged Warbler seen at Fairchild Wildflower Sanctuary in Greenwich, Conn., May 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Blue-winged Warbler seen at Fairchild Wildflower Sanctuary in Greenwich, Conn., May 2016.

Here’s a few more of the Blue-winged Warbler. See the post below for more information about the photos.

Photo by Chris Bosak A Blue-winged Warbler seen at Fairchild Wildflower Sanctuary in Greenwich, Conn., May 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Blue-winged Warbler seen at Fairchild Wildflower Sanctuary in Greenwich, Conn., May 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak A Blue-winged Warbler seen at Fairchild Wildflower Sanctuary in Greenwich, Conn., May 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Blue-winged Warbler seen at Fairchild Wildflower Sanctuary in Greenwich, Conn., May 2016.

Blue-winged Warbler, one cool-looking bird

Photo by Chris Bosak A Blue-winged Warbler seen at Fairchild Wildflower Sanctuary in Greenwich, Conn., May 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Blue-winged Warbler seen at Fairchild Wildflower Sanctuary in Greenwich, Conn., May 2016.

I hadn’t seen one in years. I just haven’t been visiting the right spots as Blue-winged Warblers stick to a pretty specific habitat: low, brushy, shruby. You’re not likely to find one deep in the woods.

But I found myself with an hour to kill and driving in the vicinity of Fairchild Wildflower Sanctuary in Greenwich, Conn. This was an old haunt of mine when I lived in nearby New York and had to drive past the exit daily. Now I found myself trekking the trails there again.

I had seen a few warblers — including a few Yellow Warblers, a specialty there — when I heard the song of the Blue-winged Warbler. It’s a buzzy song, almost insect-like. They look as cool as they sound with bright yellow plumage and a long, thin black eye stripe. It was nice to see them again (there were two) and even nicer that they were somewhat cooperative as I tried to photograph them.

Here are some shots of the Blue-winged Warbler. (I know the wings don’t exactly look blue. I don’t name the birds.)

Photo by Chris Bosak A Blue-winged Warbler seen at Fairchild Wildflower Sanctuary in Greenwich, Conn., May 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Blue-winged Warbler seen at Fairchild Wildflower Sanctuary in Greenwich, Conn., May 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak A Blue-winged Warbler seen at Fairchild Wildflower Sanctuary in Greenwich, Conn., May 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Blue-winged Warbler seen at Fairchild Wildflower Sanctuary in Greenwich, Conn., May 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak A Blue-winged Warbler seen at Fairchild Wildflower Sanctuary in Greenwich, Conn., May 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Blue-winged Warbler seen at Fairchild Wildflower Sanctuary in Greenwich, Conn., May 2016.