Black-and-White Warbler and Northern Parula – More New Arrivals

Yesterday and today, our sunny, very warm weather has continued, with blue skies and scattered white clouds, and each day has brought a new returning songbird, another sign of spring. Yesterday, it was a Black-and-white Warbler, singing in woods of mixed pines and oaks. And this morning, a Northern Parula trilled its buzzy song in trees near our yard.

The wispy weesa-weesa-weesa song of a Black-and-white Warbler is sometimes described as sounding like “a squeaky wheel.” The one singing this morning was making its way through a wooded area well back from the road, so I didn’t try to see it, but it’s nice to know one’s here again. A Black-and-white Warbler is a small, slender songbird striped all over in black and white. It creeps along branches, intently searching for food, and singing as it goes.

The Northern Parula makes a striking contrast to the slender, creeping black and white warbler – though I didn’t manage to see either one. It’s a smaller, more rounded, quick-moving bird, often flitting from spot to spot, with a bright yellow throat and chest, a gray head and wings, green back, and a black and coral band across its breast. It sang from very high up in water oaks across the street from our house. I could hear and follow its buzzy, rising trill, but it stayed too well hidden in the leaves to see.

Meanwhile, two more Louisiana Waterthrush also have returned and are singing along different sections of the creek.

These three wood warblers, all related but quite difference in appearance and behavior, each paint a different, small but luminous piece of the landscape here at this changeable time of year.

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