Friday, April 14, 2017

sharp's morning

Black-throated green warbler from Wiki media

Visited Sharp's Ridge this morning looking for migrants with Starbuck, a.k.a. Rachael—I have the day off from UT and let's go birding—Eliot.

The "winter" birds were still present: yellow-rumped warblers now in breeding plumage and a pair of ruby-crowned kinglets jousting. Pine warblers, an early migrator were also there. But with keen ears and due diligence, Starbuck located multiple black-throated green warblers by their persistent "zoo-zee, zoo-zoo-zees." And I spotted a lone worm-eating warbler moving through the canopy. Ergo: still early in the spring migration.

There are a total of 53 species of wood warbler that migrate to North America from Central and South America, well 52 if you leave out Bachman's warbler, which is probably extinct. Of the 52, 14 are western species and 38 are eastern that fly in and out of our sphere of awareness with the seasons. Starbuck and I had a fleeting few seconds, mere glimpses of four species this morning. Fleeting. But oh the rapture therein. I write about their ephemerality in my new book to be published by the University of Tennessee Press this summer.  

View from Sharp's Ridge this morning

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