Fledgling Yellow Warbler perched in a tree – Nikon D500, f9, 1/800, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Last July was hot and the high temps for the day broke records several times. One thing I can do here in Utah that I could not do in Florida was go up into the mountains for a break from the heat. The lower temps are wonderful while I am up in the mountains and it helps me to know that I can escape from 100° plus temps not that far from home. I like to get away from the heat as often as I can by heading up into the nearby mountain canyons to look for birds to photograph.
Finding small woodland birds is harder than trying to find raptors, wading birds or other medium to large birds that tend to stay out in the open because woodland birds move so quickly and they can blend in well with their habitat. That is where having my keen eyesight and the ability to identify birds by their songs and calls comes in handy. Had it not been for those abilities I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to photograph several female Yellow Warblers and their fledglings last July in an alpine canyon near a creek with willows lining its banks. Oh, and lingering in one place for more than a few seconds also helps to locate these woodland warblers, leave too quickly and you’ll miss them, one needs to exercise patience while trying to find these smalls birds.
That day the trees and shrubs along the creek were dripping with Yellow Warblers, I caught glimpses of the bright yellow females foraging for prey for their young and the fledglings perching in the shrubs and willows waiting to be fed.
Female Yellow Warbler watching her young – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 420, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
The female Yellow Warblers popped up a few times out in the open and I was able to take photos of them watching their young and while they kept an eye out for predators too. This warbler gave me a great view of her eye while she looked around.
Hungry Yellow Warbler fledgling begging to be fed – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 400, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
I spotted a fledging semi out in the open resting on a branch and when it turned and started loudly begging while fluttering its wings I hoped to photograph this tiny ball of fluff being fed. It certainly seemed highly animated and I was excited to take these action photos.
Female Yellow Warbler feeding her young – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 400, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
I was delighted to be able to photograph the female Yellow Warbler as she fed her young and to watch the fledgling as it fluttered its wings and gulped down the food the female brought it. I wish that there hadn’t been out of focus branches in front of the female so there would be a completely unobstructed view of her but sometimes you do have to take what you get under the circumstances to capture behavior like this. Maybe I need to spend time up in the mountain canyons on a daily basis this summer to capture more images of these lovely little warblers.
Life is good.
P.S., Happy Mother’s Day in case I don’t post tomorrow.