Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Watching for Warblers

yellow-rumped warbler
Warblers are small birds with narrow pointed beaks that feed primarily on insects. They flit through the trees and frequently sing "warbling" songs.

The yellow-rumped warbler is the most common warbler found in the Los Angeles area during the winter months. However this year, we had an orange-crowned warbler that was hanging out in January and in February I spotted a Townsend's warbler during Great Backyard Bird Count at the LA Zoo and a black-throated gray warbler at Serrania Park. Various warbler species will be migrating through our area in the next two months–yellow warblers, Wilson's warblers, Townsend's warblers and more. A few years ago we had a Wilson's warbler that rested at our house after flying through a wildfire area on its southward migration.

Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Refuge
Areas with native plants that attract insects are prime spots to see warblers: Malibu Lagoon State Park and Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Refuge are two of my favorites.

To see a wonderful video on identifying warblers, check out the Warbler Video from Cornell University's Dept. of Ornithology. While warbler diversity is far greater on the east coast, this video gives great general information on looking for warblers. And because we don't have as many species of warblers here in the west, you won't be overwhelmed with identifying them.

No comments: