On an early morning bird-stroll at Five Rivers this week I was hoping for flocks of warblers. I didn’t get any. I did, however, see many Gray Catbirds, Song Sparrows, and House Wrens. The highlight of the morning was an American Bittern that flushed from a pond and flew off far too quickly for my camera. Why is it that my camera is always up and ready when a common bird appears suddenly, but when a bird I’ve never managed to photograph flushes from 10 feet away all of my fingers turn to thumbs?

I did, however, manage to get some pretty cool shots of a juvenile Common Yellowthroat, a warbler that lives up to its name, preening. Even though its name fits it so well I would still like it more if it were called Bandit Warbler, for the male’s black mask, both because it sounds cooler and it would help avoid confusion with the Yellow-throated Warbler. Anyway, enjoy the pics, and, if you are a parent, wish that your kids were cleaning themselves by the age of four months!

Prior to Preening

Hmmm...where to begin?

That feels nice!

Even better!

A little under the wing...

Now where's my breakfast?

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.