Yellow-rumped Warblers

As I was cleaning up the kitchen after breakfast this morning, I stopped to watch through the kitchen window as several birds came to our small back deck. A Tufted Titmouse, a bright red Northern Cardinal, a Carolina Wren – and three Yellow-rumped Warblers. They checked out the corners and crevices of the deck flooring, rails, edges around the screened porch and the porch roof. I don’t know what, if anything, they found. We used to have a lot more spiders and insects, even in winter, that might hide out in corners. But the past few years we’ve seen fewer and fewer spiders and insects of any kind – and I do worry that birds are not able to find enough food. In fact, I’m almost certain this scarcity must take a toll.

The Yellow-rumped Warblers were especially sweet, and they came so close to the window that I enjoyed a beautiful and rare close-up view of these little gray-brown birds, so that each one came so clearly to life I could almost feel what it would be like to touch them. In their subdued winter plumage, they are small gray-brown songbirds with streaks on the breast and sides, smudges of yellow under the wings, and of course, a butter-yellow rump.  

Most of the time they appear as almost anonymous “little gray birds” flitting around the trees, so it’s special to have a chance to see them so close-up and appreciate the fine and even intricate details of their winter feathers that might look very plain from a distance.

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