Getting to know the little birds

My goal this year is to learn more about the very small birds that come to our wetlands. Some, like the male Painted Bunting above at the preserve’s feeder, are easy – his brilliant multi-colored feathers are so distinctive that he’s hard to miss.

The Ovenbird, the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and the Black & White Warbler were three new, distinctive little birds that I learned to identify last year.

I’m beginning to recognize male and female Common Yellowthroats, but so many warblers have such similar coloring, it is a really daunting task to learn the particular patterns and identifying marks of each one.

According to the Peterson Field Guide to Warblers, there are 60 different Warblers in North America, and many migrate through Florida in the fall and winter. Some of my fellow birders have lots of Warbler expertise and they are great about sharing tips on figuring out who is who.

Identifying a Warbler, even with a Warbler-specific field guide, can be a daunting task. But I just discovered an invaluable new resource, the Warbler ID Guide that you can download for free from All About Birds.imagesThank you to the developers of this amazing set of materials to accompany their beautiful book and app! By the way, be sure to check out the reviews by some of our blogger friends, including H.J. Ruiz, Avian 101.

14 thoughts on “Getting to know the little birds

  1. I’ve been following your blog for a while now. Great photographs and information. I’m curious, you mention about your walks in a Florida preserve, and I’d like to where this is preserve located? I spend three months in Venice, FL ( Feb.-April) p. Not far from me in Venice is a excellent rookery that I just love. Fabulous place Florida.

  2. Forgot too check off “Notify me of new comments via email, so I had to comment once again about wanting to know the name and place of the preserve you go to.

  3. I love all the little birds you have shown and get to see most of them. I only saw the Painted Bunting once before. It is a stunning creature. I agree, Warbler ID can be difficult even with a guide. We see them briefly twice a year, and they all come, so it gets dicey on ID. I have to admit, I am getting better at it now though.

    • I think it takes a lot of focus just to get to know warblers. I’m lucky that several avid birders here can help me ID them, when I can’t figure out which one I’m looking at. They’ve also pointed out many that I didn’t even know were flitting about above me in the branches.

  4. Your photos are fantastic Carol! Thank you for your vote of confidence and the link to my blog. I appreciate it very much! 🙂

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