Friday, October 7, 2016

blending in

Where's Waldo?

Can you spot the bird? 

Those that survive are those that better blend into their environs. 

Ijams regular Jason Dykes writes, "I was recently looking through some of my photos and remembered a warbler I photographed that I never did identify. I was hoping you might be able to help me out or perhaps point me in the right direction. 

It was taken in October at Norris Dam State Park on the birding trail. There was someone there who had come specifically to see the bird who pointed it out to me. Unfortunately they weren't familiar with it either, just that it was an unusual warbler. Also, do you happen to know what type of plant the bird was eating from?"

The plant is easier. It's a beautyberry, probably American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana).

The warbler is harder, it's in winter plumage, very confusing. But an educated guess with the help of my Peterson's field guide, would seem to indicate that it is a yellow warbler (Setophaga petechia) in drab non-breeding plumage. Another clue. Warblers primarily eat insects but yellow warblers sometimes eat berries. 

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