Photographing Female Yellow Warblers Feeding Their Fledglings

/, Little Emigration Canyon, Morgan County, Utah, Yellow Warblers/Photographing Female Yellow Warblers Feeding Their Fledglings

Fledgling Yellow Warbler perched in a tree, Little Emigration Canyon, Morgan County, UtahFledgling 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, Little Emigration Canyon, Morgan County, UtahFemale 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, Little Emigration Canyon, Morgan County, UtahHungry 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, Little Emigration Canyon, Morgan County, UtahFemale 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.

Mia

P.S., Happy Mother’s Day in case I don’t post tomorrow.

9 Comments

  1. Pepe Forte May 20, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    Great pics Mia. I love the composition of each image and, of course, the color and detail. Amazing stuff. Thanks.

  2. Tim Traver May 12, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    Lovely! So nice to focus on the female Yellow Warbler on these eve of Mother’s Day.

  3. Marty K May 12, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    The perfect Mothers’ Day Eve post! 😀 Such cute little fuzz-butts!

  4. Elephants Child May 12, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    WHAT a brilliant series. The fuzzy little fledgling is a charmer. I suspect a very noisy, demanding charmer.

  5. April Olson May 12, 2018 at 10:06 am

    I love the fledglings baby tufts still sticking out of the tween feathers.

  6. Bob mcpherson May 12, 2018 at 8:29 am

    Wonderful photos, ,,Mia.

  7. Patty Chadwick May 12, 2018 at 8:15 am

    These are wonderful…the closest I ever got to one of these beautiful fragments of flying sunshine was in the Adirondacks,when cold, wet and feeling down, I was visited by a very curious little yellow bird, who quite fearlessly checked me out, lifting my soggy spirits and changing my attitude and outlook completely .Mother Nature at work!
    HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!

  8. Ken Schneider May 12, 2018 at 8:12 am

    Wonderful captures! Here in Illinois the Yellow Warblers are singing and courting. In Florida the only way to get out of the heat is to rely on air conditioning. At least in colder climes you can pile on more clothing. In New Mexico when we hiked in the mountains, the cool air would stream down the valleys and in low spots we often encountered refreshing little still pockets of very cold air, almost like stepping into a pond. I miss the mountains!

  9. Liz Cormack May 12, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Oh, my, what a series of wonderful photos. Gorgeous! I love Yellow Warblers. Happy Mother’s Day to you.

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