Black-and-white Warbler in Oaks, a Carolina Chickadee Nest and a Wood Thrush Song

On a very warm, calm, sunny morning, a Black-and-white Warbler moved quietly through the branches of the water oaks in our front yard. It made its way steadily over one branch after another, searching for insects and other prey, paying particular attention to the ragged ends of large, broken branches. The warbler’s bright, crisp black-and-white striped colors merged into a kind of black patch on the throat. It frequently turned upside down to check out the bottom side of a branch, showing soft black spots on the white underside of the tail. I watched it for several minutes, and the whole time it was quiet, not singing, not seeming to make a sound.

Meanwhile, only a few yards away, a pair of Carolina Chickadees made several visits to a small ceramic birdhouse hanging from a branch of a pecan tree. They seem to be feeding young. This birdhouse has been hanging in the same spot for several years, and this is the first time we’ve seen any sign of birds nesting there. The Chickadee parents come frequently, one at a time, stopping first on a nearby branch, then quickly dart inside the nest hole.

Much later in the day, early evening, with dark clouds and thunder rumbling in the west, a Wood Thrush sang from somewhere very far away. The lyrical, fluted notes seemed to come from woods along the creek, barely close enough to hear. It’s the only Wood Thrush song we’ve heard so far this year, and it was hard not to hear it as a haunting, fading echo of a song that always used to be a defining part of summer.

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