Young Pine Warblers Being Fed

This morning began with the song of a Yellow-throated Vireo in the branches of the white oaks right outside our open bedroom windows, very close, and yet it stayed hidden in the leaves, and I never could see it. Its song was a rich, blurry series of notes that included frequent, buoyant three-eight phrases. An American Redstart also sang in the oaks, high and sharply clear, also hidden in the foliage, lower in the tree than the Vireo. The serenade was a beautiful way to begin a sunny, blue-sky day.

By mid-morning, the sun felt warm but the air still felt fresh with a hint of coolness when I headed out for a walk. Chimney Swifts twittered overhead. A Red-eyed Vireo sang in the woods around our yard, though it turned out to be the only Red-eyed Vireo I heard all morning, and in fact the woods seemed rather quiet – with only one Summer Tanager and one Yellow-throated Vireo all along the way; no Scarlet Tanager, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher or Black-and-white Warbler – though of course, I might have just come by at the wrong time.

Birds were not particularly active, but most of the usual suspects from the past week or two were singing or calling here and there – Pine Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, Eastern Phoebe, Carolina Wren, Northern Cardinal, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, House Finch, and one or two American Robins sang. Mourning Doves cooed. Red-bellied Woodpecker and Downy Woodpecker rattled. Lots of Eastern Bluebirds were active, American Goldfinches mewed in the trees.

High in a tall pine near the crest of a wooded hill, two young Pine Warblers were begging in wheezy voices, fluttering their wings, and being fed by a male parent. He fed one of the juveniles, then paused to raise his head and sing, lifting a warm yellow throat to the sun.

An Indigo Bunting chanted its sweet-sweet, chew-chew, sweet-sweet song in a big, rambling, meadow-like yard with lots of scattered shrubs and trees. A Great Crested Flycatcher called Breet! and flew to a small tree on the edge of the same large meadow-like yard, where it perched in the open for a few minutes, turning its large, handsome gray head in profile. It called again – and a second Great Crested Flycatcher answered from a nearby tree.

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