Yellow Warbler with a dark background
I’ve had such an amazing time this year photographing Yellow Warblers in the Wasatch Mountains and I’ve enjoyed learning more about them and their behaviors since early May. These small birds are a challenge to photograph because they move so quickly and because they blend into their habitat so well so every time I focus on them and I am able to take a high quality photos I feel a rush, one might even say a “gold rush”.
(click on a photo to start a slide show of these images)
This month I’ve seen immature Yellow Warblers learning how to be on their own, I’ve seen males that are messy and females that look marvelously tidy and neat. I’ve watched and photographed these small, bright yellow warblers feeding on ripe, juicy serviceberry berries and gleaning insects from foliage, flitting from one branch to another and chasing each other around in clumps of trees. All of them, young and older, are getting ready for migration now. By mid September most of the Yellow Warblers will be gone.
I’m already seeing fewer Lazuli Buntings and Orange-crowned Warblers in locations where just a week ago they were present in large numbers. I’m also seeing changes in the leaves of the trees at high elevations and just yesterday morning I saw a low of 39°F in the mountains and day time temps are dropping.
I am certainly going to miss all of the migrant birds I have seen and photographed this spring and summer but honestly I am excited to see even the smallest signs that the seasons are changing.
Life is good.
All images were taken using my Nikon D500 with my 500mm VR lens & 1.4x TC attached.
Yellow Warbler facts and information:
- Yellow Warblers are small, uniformly yellow warblers with unmarked faces, rounded heads, tiny bills and jet black eyes. The males have reddish streaks on their underparts. There are other forms of Yellow Warblers found in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Males in those forms have chestnut on their heads.
- Yellow Warblers are migratory. During the breeding season Yellow Warblers can be found as far north as the Arctic Circle and as far south as southern Mexico, they spend winters in Central and South America.
- Their preferred habitats include thickets, marsh edges, swamps, willow edged streams, bogs, farmlands, forest edges and suburban gardens.
- Yellow Warblers eat spiders, insects and will also eat berries. They forage by gleaning.
- Yellow Warblers lay 3 to 6 eggs which hatch in 11 to 12 days, the females incubate and they are monogamous.
- A group of Yellow Warblers can be called a “stream” or “trepidation” of warblers.
- Yellow warblers can live to be more than 11 years of age.