A Female Common Yellowthroat

At the State Botanical Garden again, late this morning, from a thicket close to the river came the distinctive “clicking marbles” call of a Common Yellowthroat, a call something like a bright, sharp tschick. The bird was hidden somewhere deep in a dense tangle of shrubs, but continued to call, so I could follow it as it moved. Now and then I could see a rustle of leaves and vines where it was – and finally a female Common Yellowthroat came out into full view for several moments. A softer, less flamboyant version of the male, she was lovely – with no black mask, but a yellow throat and chest, pale belly, olive back and wings, and thin white eye-ring.

It was especially fun to recognize the call, after not hearing it for some time now. My friends Marianne and David – who both taught me so much – were always very good at hearing it, but I was never quite sure until this morning, when I recognized it immediately. I haven’t been able to find it described anywhere else as sounding like “clicking marbles,” but this was David’s description – and it works.

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