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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

15 Warblers in Fall Migration: Northern Parula, Blackpoll, Nashville and more

[Lake St. Clair Metropark. Aug/Sept 2015]

The collective noun for a group of warblers is quite apt: a "bouquet" of warblers. And, having been blessed with the presence of these delightful "bouquets" over Spring and Summer, we now congratulate our neotropical guests on their breeding success and wish them godspeed and safe passage to their winter homes as they undertake their southbound migration.

Lake St. Clair offers habitat of woods and marshes affording an opportunity for these warblers to refuel on insects as they build up their energy reserves for a long distance journey to Central and South America. 

And, in this post we shall review 15 species of Wood Warblers that were observed in passage in the woods of Lake St. Clair:

  1. Blackpoll
  2. Northern Waterthrush
  3. Common Yellowthroat
  4. American Redstart
  5. Chestnut-sided Warbler
  6. Magnolia Warbler
  7. Nashville Warbler
  8. Northern Parula
  9. Black-and-white Warbler
  10. Bay-breasted Warbler
  11. Palm Warbler
  12. Cape May Warbler
  13. Myrtle Warbler
  14. Black-throated Green Warbler 
  15. Ovenbird

We start with the champion of long distance migration in warblers: the Blackpoll:

Geolocators on these tiny birds, weighing just two quarters, have shown in a study published this year that they can travel 1,700 miles (that's like driving from New York City to Denver) non-stop! Truly a herculean, if not miraculous, feat of stamina and instinctive navigation.
Other species included:

Northern Waterthrush

Common Yellowthroat:

American Redstart:

Chestnut-sided Warbler:

Magnolia Warbler:

Nashville Warbler:

Northern Parula:

Black-and-white Warbler:

Bay-breasted Warbler:

Palm Warbler:

Cape May Warbler:

Myrtle Warbler:

Black-throated Green Warbler:


Not only are our warblers strikingly colorful and musical, but when we look at their achievements in migration, they are also undeniably strong, determined and incredibly skillful. Superlatives that are well earned by species such as the Blackpoll and other warblers seen in passage at Lake St. Clair.

1 comment:

Bob Pelkey said...

I wonder, Hemant, if there are efforts underway in Michigan, similar to those of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, that might shed light on the migration route of Blackpoll Warblers made from say the vicinity of Lake St. Clair. It is amazing to consider that the species could fly non-stop for more than three consecutive days. You have reminded me of a pelagic trip I made when warblers were observed traveling dozens of miles offshore of Ponce De Leon, Florida, in a torrential storm. The migration achievements of warblers should certainly not be unappreciated. Congrats to the VCE for their upcoming 25th year of work.