Photographing Yellow Warblers Feeding Their Fledglings – Fun and Frustration

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Male Yellow Warbler shining brightly in the willows, Little Emigration Canyon, Summit County, UtahMale Yellow Warbler shining brightly in the willows

Yesterday I had fun and frustration while photographing Yellow Warblers feeding their fledglings up in a Wasatch Mountain canyon, fun because it is always great to see them and frustration because of the setting they were in combined with a breeze.  The breeze kept blowing the willows around which blocked clear views of the fledglings quite often.

I saw male Yellow Warblers up high in the willows singing between foraging for their young. Even in the brightness of the willows these males shine brightly.

Female Yellow Warbler in a thicket, Little Emigration Canyon, Summit County, UtahFemale Yellow Warbler in a thicket

The female Yellow Warblers are duller than the males though they have their own subtle beauty their coloration does make it much harder to spot them and they don’t go to the tops of the willows to sing like the males do.

Fledgling Yellow Warbler cleaning its bill, Little Emigration Canyon, Summit County, UtahFledgling Yellow Warbler cleaning its bill

The fledglings at this age have very little yellow in their plumage, basically only in their wings and tails. These fledglings are barely out of the nest though and soon they will have more yellow in their feathers. This little one was cleaning its bill when I photographed it in between willows bouncing around and obstructing my view.

Fledgling Yellow Warbler all fluffed up, Little Emigration Canyon, Summit County, UtahFledgling Yellow Warbler all fluffed up

And here it is looking all fluffed up after it cleaned its bill. I struggled with the willows blowing in front of it.

There was another fledgling nearby that the adults were feeding but I didn’t have the best angle on it to get a clear view. That was very frustrating.

Fledgling Yellow Warbler begging to be fed by a male, Little Emigration Canyon, Summit County, UtahFledgling Yellow Warbler begging to be fed by a male

I only had one series out of many where I had the adult and the fledgling in clear view while the adult attempted to feed its young…

Fledgling Yellow Warbler and missed prey, Little Emigration Canyon, Summit County, UtahFledgling Yellow Warbler and missed prey

What I mean by “attempted” is that the prey was dropped instead of going into the fledgling’s bill, it can be seen just below the bills of the birds in this photo. After this photo the adult looked down for the prey and soon flew off to forage for its young again.

Close up male Yellow Warbler, Little Emigration Canyon, Summit County, UtahClose up male Yellow Warbler

I did spot a male Yellow Warbler who flew in close which gave me the opportunity to take a nice series of images of him with a painterly background in beautiful light.

Curious look from a close male Yellow Warbler, Little Emigration Canyon, Summit County, UtahCurious look from a close male Yellow Warbler

I’m sure it is just my imagination but to me this male looks a touch frazzled and he should be since he was making so many foraging runs to feed his hungry young. Of the feedings I saw most of them were delivered by the male.

Close male Yellow Warbler perched in willows and sunlightClose male Yellow Warbler perched in willows and sunlight

I am so happy that I was able to see and photograph these Yellow Warblers and their fledglings yesterday even though it caused a ton of frustration for me, I may have to change my strategy while photographing these bright yellow warblers.  Bird photography isn’t always easy though and I accept that.

Life is good.

Mia

Sorry I didn’t include my techs this morning, I ran out of time.

12 Comments

  1. Pepe Forte July 4, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    What a terrific series of pics! Depth, detail, composition with vivid colors…it’s all there. Mia, you knocked it out of the park with this set. Thanks.

    Happy 4th!

  2. Ilze Long July 2, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    Thanks Mia. Such a wonderful series. I am always overwhelmed by non-people. The care they give their young is more than remarkable.

  3. April Olson July 2, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Beautiful little birds. I have not had opportunity to photograph birds on my trip. I guess I am addicted because l am having withdrawal cravings!

  4. Elephants Child July 2, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    Yet another charmer. Thank you.

  5. Sybill Reed July 2, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Hi! I so enjoyed these photo’s! It was to soon to see the young when I was with you in May! What a wonderful reminder of my time spent with you than! It was to short! But every time I see photo”s you share with everyone will always put me with you on your trips out photographing! Love mom

  6. Patty Chadwick July 2, 2018 at 10:54 am

    You sure are “Eagle Eyes McPherson”…wonderful, wonderful series!!!

  7. Patty Chadwick July 2, 2018 at 10:54 am

    You sure are “Eagle Eyes McPherson”…wonderful, wonderful series!!!

  8. Jane Chesebrough July 2, 2018 at 10:06 am

    I have never seen the Yellow Warblers this young, so now know what to look for when I get around them. I have accidently found their nests because walking by them the male has popped up and flown away. Then I realized that the nest was right beside the trail. Well seen, Mia! this is a delightful series!

  9. Grace Cohen July 2, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Having experience shooting lovely – and highly active – Yellow Warblers, I commend you on capturing these spectacular images Mia. Thanks for sharing. Well done!!

  10. Kim July 2, 2018 at 6:40 am

    Beautiful!

  11. Bob mcpherson July 2, 2018 at 6:31 am

    Cool series, Mia.

  12. Liz Cormack July 2, 2018 at 6:11 am

    What a wonderful series of photos. Brightens my day!

Comments are closed.