“Sweet-sweet-sweet I’m so sweet!”

“Sweet-sweet-sweet I’m so sweet!”

“Sweet-sweet-sweet I’m so sweet”

When you are walking through habitat suitable for Yellow Warblers in late April and throughout May you can be forgiven for thinking that the little yellow birds want you to lick them like a lollipop. They sing hidden behind thick tangles and perched on exposed branches. Their entire body almost convulses as they sing, forcing their heads high as they declare to the world just how sweet they are. Their beady little eyes gleam in the sunlight and the rusty streaks on their breast contrast nicely with their namesake yellow which itself gleams against the green foliage.

For some inexplicable reason when my folks were visiting and we took Desi for a walk around Jamaica Bay the Yellow Warblers would not show themselves. This despite our hearing eight different individuals singing. None of them would come out into the open and sing. It was frustrating to me because I wanted to show my parents such a cool little bird – the first species of wood-warbler, in fact, that I had ever seen and identified –  but probably more frustrating to them considering that they had never seen one before. Of course, on a repeat visit Sunday when my parents had returned upstate, several Setophaga petechia were more than willing to sing out in the open.

Mom, Dad, consider this motivation to come back down and visit again soon…

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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.