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Monday, July 24, 2017

Macomb Marvels: Warbling Vireo, Yellow Warbler and Common Yellowthroat

[Macomb Co. April/May 2017]

There are many qualities we admire in committed naturalists and devoted birders. One of these, of course, is their unwavering dedication to the motto "We shall not equate abundance with apathy". Surely, a credo for all of us to live by. 

Indeed, the dedicated birder is one whose inquisitive spirit is never dampened even when confronted by the frequent and the familiar. Thus, in celebration of the commonplace and the ordinary, we present a collection of species that while never uncommon are nonetheless uncommonly beautiful (all species observed in Macomb County, Michigan):

  • Warbling Vireo
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • Tree Swallow
It takes uncommon aesthetics to see the lurking beauty in our commoner species and nowhere is this more exemplified than in our first species, the Warbling Vireo:

A delightful songbird, this is an otherwise drab looking vireo that lacks the typical yellows and greens associated with the family. This beautiful specimen was spied at Lake St. Clair Metropark.

While the long and energetic warble of the Warbling Vireo is a powerful force of nature, the Common Yellowthroat's catchy "Wichety, Wichety" rings gently from every brushy corner of our fields in Spring:

This is a striking warbler and one oft wonders if it didn't deserve to be named for its prominent black mask rather than its yellow throat. Seen at Wetzel State Park, this otherwise skulking warbler is more easily observed in the breeding season when the males are perched in song.

Equally vocal is the Yellow Warbler:

This yellow marvel with maroon streaking and its simple "sweet, sweet" song is a common sight even in suburbia (here observed at Lake St. Clair).

Baltimore Oriole were also observed at Lake St. Clair:

Other species included Belted Kingfisher:

A Great Blue Heron in flight at Lake St. Clair:

Pied-billed Grebe:

Rose-breasted Grosbeak:

And, Tree Swallow:

Macomb county harbors many hotspots such as Wetzel SP and Lake St. Clair Metorpark that hold avian marvels such as Warbling Vireo and Common Yellowthroat. And, the inquisitive birder shall never be underwhelmed by their commonality; for, these "ordinary" denizens of our Eastern forests hold charms that have the capacity to enthrall and enthuse even the most jaded of birders.


Bob Pelkey said...

It was a thrill this past week to observe at the backyard feeders a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak (the species seen by me for the first time). The following morning a juvenile of the same species was observed! I held out hope that the male would be seen shortly thereafter, but it was not to be. My satisfaction is fulfilled with your image of it in this article.

Digital Plume Hunter said...

They are a glorious songbird Bob -- I will be posting some more in the future ....