Sunday, September 23, 2007

Swainson's Warbler

It is always nice to have a surprise pop up during a typical banding day. Sure, Cardinals, Towhees, Vireos and such are all nice to see up close but variety is needed to keep you going through a humid bug-filled morning sometimes.

The surprise this morning was a rarely seen visitor to the Wekiva Springs banding station: A Swainson's Warbler.

I was out seeing if we should close down for the day when Maria called out to me and mentioned that they had a 'Swanson's' at teh table for me to get a picture of. For some reason, Maria has always had a hard time saying "Swainson's". It always turns into a TV dinner.

The only Swainson's I was waiting for were the thrushes and figured that was what it was. I continued my walk at a steady pace. Finally arriving at the table, I got a better look. Lane held up the gorgeous, slightly large, warbler.

Swainson's warbler

"What do you think? Swainson's Warbler?", She asked.

Indeed. I forget how much larger they are than other warblers, such as the tiny Prairie Warblers.

Swainson's warbler

I first saw a Swainson's Warbler here at this very spot about 2 years earlier. These birds stay well down in the thickets and are also found in flooded swampland. This is only the 4th such warbler banded at Wekiva in all of its years of operation.

Check out those fresh, crisp feathers!

Swainson's warbler

Can't wait for the next surprise.

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