Sunday, May 8, 2011

Yellow-rumped Myrtles: Early April Spring Migration through Northern Illinois

A Yellow-rumped Myrtle Warbler; Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL; 4/17/2011.
Another early April arrival in Northern Illinois is the Yellow-rumped Warbler (also known as the Myrtle) as it is on its way to northern Wisconsin, Minnesota, Upper Michigan, Canada and Alaska. It will also spend its summers in the Northeast states (New York, New hampshire, Vermont and Maine).  They winter not too far south from our area in southern Illinois and southern Indiana as well as the entire southestern U.S. as well as all the coasts. I saw several of them in Mexico last December. They will also spend the winter on the southern shores of Lake Erie in Ohio, and are most likely (as is the case) the first warbler to be seen in the spring.

A BIF pic of a Myrtle showing its yellow flanks and streaky breast,
 Nygren Wetlands Preserve, Rockton, IL; 4/10/2011.
The first Myrtle I saw this year was at the Nygren Wetlands Preserve (Above), and since that time they have been all over. At Rock Cut State Park, Bauman Park, and Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve in Rockford, as well as in Horicon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin. They are not hard to miss, with their bluish/gray body set off with a bright yellow rump (Below), crown and flanks with contrasting black and white streaks on its breast. Another great identifying trait is its black mask with white eyebrows and throat.
A good look at the Myrtle's namesake yellow rump,
Horicon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, Wisconsin; 4/24/2011.
A Myrtle showing off its contrasting dark bluish/gray and black colors
with its bright yellow and white markings, Horicon Marsh NWR, WI; 4/24/2011
Another Myrtle, Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL; 4/17/2011.


~Val said...

Great series of these little beauties!

Anonymous said...

Just saw a group of these in West Dundee April 22, 2012. Very cool!