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Posts Tagged ‘Geothlypis trichas’

I was so thrilled to see a Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) this past Wednesday that I returned the following day to see if I could find it again and, hopefully, get some better shots. I had a general idea where I had seen it the first time, but I honestly did not know if the little bird was territorial and would hang out in the same area all of the time.

Imagine my excitement when I actually managed to spot the colorful warbler again as it poked about in the leaves and vegetation on the ground. The yellowthroat was in constant motion and often disappeared from view, but it seemed to be moving in one general direction and I was able to follow it on an adjacent trail. My telephoto zoom lens has a minimum focusing distance of almost 9 feet (274 cm), so I had to keep my distance as I tracked the bird’s movement, which probably helped to keep me from spooking the bird.

Eventually the yellowthroat disappeared from sight and I moved off in search of other subjects. Amazingly I was able to find the yellowthroat later in the day when I returned to the same stretch of trail from the other direction and I resumed my efforts to photograph it.

I am not sure how many Common Yellowthroats are currently residing at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, but I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for them in my future visits this winter to the location. My shots below provide a pretty good view of the facial markings of what I believe is the same yellowthroat. If I am fortunate enough to see one again, I will examine carefully that facial area to try to determine if it is the same individual.

 

Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroat

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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I was thrilled yesterday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge when a passing birder pointed out this Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) to me. I thought that they were already gone until the spring, but a more experienced birder later told me that it is normal that some overwinter with us.

Like most other warblers, Common Yellowthroats generally head south for the winter. I wonder why this one stayed behind. Was he a procrastinator who got left behind or maybe a natural contrarian? Is the range of this species gradually creeping northward, perhaps because of global warming? (The range map shows that Common Yellowthroats are present year-round in the coastal areas of North Carolina, which is just to the south of Virginia, where I live.)

Whatever the case, it was really nice to spot the brilliant yellow throat of this masked warbler. I too was wearing a mask, but I don’t think it made look as cool and rakish as this Common Yellothroat.

Common Yellowthroat

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

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I have spotted Common Yellowthroats (Geothlypis trichas) repeatedly this spring, but, despite my best efforts, have not been able to get a close-up shot of one. They seem to like to perch in the middle of a particular field at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge and seem to taunt me from a distance with their sweet songs.

I love the distinctive black Lone Ranger-style mask of the male Common Yellowthroat that contrasts wonderfully with sunny hues of its eponymous throat. Even though I recently couldn’t get close to this yellowthroat, I managed to capture this image that has a painterly feel to it.

I’ll still be trying for a close-up of this species, but for now I am quite content with this environmental portrait of this beautiful bird.

Common Yellowthroat

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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The red leaves surrounding this Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) that I spotted in a distant tree recently at Jackson Miles Abbot Wetland Refuge serve as a reminder that the autumn has begun. Leaves are starting to fall from many of the trees and some of them are starting to change colors, though the colors never seen so bright and vibrant as the trees in my native New England.

Initially I was not going to post this photo, because I was not able to get a detailed shot of the bird, but the more I look at the image, the more I like the environmental surroundings of the beautiful little bird.

Common Yellowthroat

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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This week we are caught in a weather system with constant gray skies and rain, so I need a splash of color to lift my spirits, like this immature male Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) that was hiding in the lower levels of the cattails last week.

The little yellow bird was in almost constant motion and was often obscured by the stems of the underbrush, but I did manage to get a few relatively unobstructed shots when the bird poked its head into an open area. As is often the case, I also managed to get a shot as the bird flew away. Normally that means that the bird is partially out of the frame, but this time the bird flew almost straight down and I got a fun little final image.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Glancing into the cattails, I caught sight of a flash of color and then gradually a bright yellow bird came into view. The tail was partially concealed by the cattails, accentuating the bird’s circular body shape (and everyone knows that the camera adds pounds to subjects).

I have done some internet searches and concluded that this is probably an immature male Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas). Adult male Yellowthroats are really easy to identify, because they have a prominent black mask. Like many bird species, however, young male Yellowthroats look a lot like the females, but gradually develop the mask. It looks to me that this bird may have the first traces of such a mask.

The lighting and camera settings combined to produce images that I really like, with colors that are beautifully saturated. I need to figure out how to replicate this look.

yellowbird_blogyellowbird2_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Normally I see (or hear) CommonYellowthroat warblers (Geothlypis trichas) in the upper reaches of trees, generally obscured by leaves.

I was really happy when I spotted this male yellowthroat perched on cattails, in an area in which I normally see only red-winged blackbirds. As a result, I was able to get a relatively unobstructed shot of this beautiful little bird.

yellowthroat_cattail_blog

Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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I have been hearing the calls of this little warbler for several weeks, but today was the first day that I got some clear shots of the male Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas).

I was fortunate that the foliage was not too dense when I initially spotted the bird and even when he moved to a second spot in the same tree, I had a relatively unobstructed view. Birders at my local marshland tell me that the male comes north before the female and that soon the females, which are not so brightly colored, will arrive.

warbler1_blog warbler2_blog

Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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