Northern Parula

When the sun rose this morning, the sky was so covered in thick, dark clouds there was little hint of light. Thunder rumbled in the distance and the air felt warm and restless. But through an open window I heard a light, buzzy, airy song that sounded carefree, as if the little bird were skipping through the treetops. It was the song of a Northern Parula, a very small, pretty wood warbler with a bright yellow throat and breast, a blue-gray head and back, a greenish patch in the middle of its back, and a black and chestnut band across its yellow chest. I couldn’t see it from the window, but it sang several times. It’s the first Northern Parula I’ve heard or seen here so far this spring, returned from its winter further south to spend the breeding season. Northern Parulas nest in lowland, forested areas in swamps or near streams across much of the eastern U.S., and are known for preferring habitat with mosses or lichens, which they use to make their nests, placing them very high up on the end of a branch in the forest canopy. 

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