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May 19, 2008 / stephanie

green bay + whirlwind of warblers

Check out these Tree Swallows – Does the male have his wing over the female’s shoulder? Click the picture for the huge version. Awww!! Love is in the air.

Anyway, I took a trip to my hometown, Green Bay WI this weekend and happened to hit the jackpot of springtime birding. Of course, expectations were already high, the weather was perfect and the parking lot was full at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary. I got there around 7:30 which was after the official Saturday morning birding tour started, but I figured I could do ok on my own. Of course, my mom came to help out and hold the guide book if I ever needed it.

I already saw 3 warbler species around my parents’ yard Saturday morning and I couldn’t wait to get out to the sanctuary. Once we got there, this is the first warbler we saw, a Cape May. It was absolutely gorgeous and the first one I have ever seen. Later I would also add Northern Parula and Bay-breasted Warbler to my first-time-ever list.

Shortly after seeing the Cape May, I found this Blackpoll warbler amongst some Yellow-rumps and a Magnolia. After seeing this guy, I could really tell the difference between the blackpoll and the black-and-white warbler (which I also spotted later). The little black cap on the blackpoll is very distinct.

Obligatory squirrel shot – I love red squirrels and hardly ever see them.

A Blackburnian warbler! He was far away but I managed to get a shot. These guys are very striking with a bright orange breast. Some other warblers I saw that deserve an honorable mention are: Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Green, Yellow, Tennessee, Nashville, Canada Warbler, Northern Parula, American Redstart, and an Ovenbird. That brings the grand total to 18 warbler species in one weekend (in case you weren’t keeping track.)

After a pretty exciting morning, I still had time to check out the American White Pelicans that hang out by the main street bridge in De Pere. They are a pretty cool sight to see if you’re used to the typical midwestern birds. These pelicans have only been breeding alongside the Fox River for maybe the last 5ish years. This year there are close to 100 birds in this area. They seem to be doing pretty well for themselves.

A couple Oriole pictures, male at the top and female with nest material at bottom. Again, orioles were everywhere as they were last weekend. A couple other notable larger birds I saw were Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Wood Thrushes, Indigo Buntings, and a Scarlet Tanager. I didn’t get anymore great pictures of those birds but they sure made for a colorful bird bouquet.

Here is a Baltimore Oriole nest I spotted at Green Isle Park in Green Bay. They construct beautiful little hanging baskets. This one was kind of out in the open and I heard nest-parasitizing Brown-headed cowbirds nearby so I wish this pair good luck.

I was sad that I missed banding on Saturday, but it was a pretty successful weekend anyway! I hope they didn’t catch too many cool birds without me. The video for the day is a Grey Catbird singing at the Wildlife Sanctuary and the birdy artwork is a Yellow Warbler.


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