Monday, July 4, 2011

Warblers of Northern Illinois: The Yellow Warbler

The Yellow Warbler, or "Old yeller" as referred to by many vetran birders, is by far the most common of the wood warblers that I see in the Rockford area, Rock Cut State Park, IL; 5/8/2011.
Wood Warblers are a huge weak spot on my 'Life List' of my young birding history. The main guidebook that I use most often, The Sibley Field Guide To Birds of North America, has listed 18 different types of warblers that will spend their summers in our area of Northern Illinois. Since I've started taking birding more seriously within the last two years, I have only seen and identified 11 of these warblers; however, only seven of those eleven I have identified in the Rockford (IL) area. The other four I identified in other states. So needless to say, I am always excited to spot and identify a warbler. My main downfall at the moment, is not being able to recognize all of their various songs, so when I hear them sing, but cannot readily see the bird doing the singing, I miss that oppurtunity. The few that I know their songs well, I then understand what I am looking for, and therefore am more likely to spot them. 

So here are the lists:

Warblers that spend the summer months in Northern Illinois:
Blue-winged Warbler, Yellow Warbler (Above), Chestnut-sided Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Pine Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Black & White Warbler, American Redstart, Prothonotary Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-breasted Chat, Yellow-throated Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Ovenbird, Louisiana Waterthrush, and Hooded Warbler.

Warblers that I have seen and Identified:
Northern Illinois: Yellow, Pine, Black & White, Prothonotary, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, and Louisiana Waterthrush. (I commonly hear the Ovenbird in our local forests, but I have never been able to see one)
Other States: Yellow-breasted Chat (CA), Worm-eating (TN), Ovenbird (MX), Hooded (TN).

Warblers that I have not yet identified:
Blue-winged, Chestnut-sided, Cerulean, Prairie, Yellow-throated, Kentucky, and Mourning.

Yellow Warbler, Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL; 5/8/2011.
This week will be "Warbler Week" on my blog, which I will highlight the warblers that I have been able to photograph. I'll start with the Yellow Warbler (Above) as it is by far the most common warbler that I encounter and am able to identify by both visual and song. It is also the most common of all warblers in the summer months. It is found from coast to coast in all of Canada, and in the more mountainous areas of the south and Mexico. It is not common in the southern coastal states of South carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. In winter they will migrate south into Mexico, which is where I saw many last winter.
Yellow Warbler, Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve, Rockford, IL; 5/30/2011.
Since "Old Yeller" is the most common warbler; therefore, it is the most represented warbler of my photo files. (Below) are a few more photos of the Yellow Warbler:

A back lit Yellow Warbler, Rock Cut State Park; 5/8/2011.
A BIF Yellow Warbler, Rock Cut State park; 5/8/2011.
If it wasn't for the leaf obscuring this Yeller's head, this would have been one of my favorite BIF's, as it shows the transluscent quality of the warbler's wings, Rock Cut State Park, IL; 5/8/2011.
If this BIF would have been a bit sharper, this would be a great shot of the Yellow Warbler, Rock Cut State Park; 6/5/2011. 
Finally, to celebrate July 4th, I will end each post for the remainder of the summer with some of my favorite sunset/sunrise photos from the past several years from the many trips we have taken:

Nature's own fireworks, sunset from Bauman Park, Rockford, IL; 5/14/2010

1 comment:

~Val said...

I love a good yellow warbler! The singing shot is great.