Saturday was sunny and cool, the perfect combination for autumn birding. I spent all morning at Jamaica Bay and had a great time (more on that tomorrow). Especially great was seeing twelve species of wood-warbler, one of my best days of wood-warbler watching all fall. Other than the hordes of Yellow-rumped Warblers that have returned to the city now that their breeding season is done and the well-named Common Yellowthroats the wood-warbler that was most prevalent was the Black-throated Blue Warbler. I saw three males and three females, and while no one will ever question a birder who stops for a second (or third or fourth) look at a male BTB the females are, well, rather bland. Nonetheless, one female Black-throated Blue Warbler certainly caught my attention when she came in close and let me photograph her in a variety of poses.
Sure, her subtle coloration is no match for the gaudy male, but she is beautiful anyway, no? The one field mark that stands out that she shares with the male is the white “handkerchief” on her wing. And watching her watching the underside of a leaf until she suddenly lunged for a juicy tidbit, well, what other word but wonderful can I use?
What’s that you say? You want a close-up?
How about a shot of the undertail?
What a bird!
And, just in case anyone is wondering what one looks like, one of the male Black-throated Blue Warblers I saw yesterday is below…