About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Spring Warbler Warm-up Quiz

Kirtland's warbler
This is a really great time to bird watch. Spring warbler migration begins in early April with the return of the Palm, Yellow-rumped and Pine Warblers. Black-and-white Warblers soon follow. They look similar to nuthatches at first glance but their referee plumage is easy to identify with a closer look.

Michigan is probably most famous among birders as the summer home of Kirtland's warbler, a rare species that winters in the Caribbean but nests in jack pine forests in northern Michigan and just recently in Wisconsin and Ontario, but nowhere else on Earth. Male Kirtland's warblers arrive back in Michigan from the Bahamas between May 3 and May 20, a few days ahead of the females. The males' song is loud, yet low pitched, ending with an upward inflection.

Some cold days in April and May, warblers are desperate to find insects to eat. These hungry and exhausted warblers often forage low and in the open. I’ve often seen them stopping by to fuel up on my suet feeder in the spring. Another good reason to always keep that feeder full!

During peak migration in mid-May, you may see or hear several species of warblers a day. The Blue-Winged Warbler is a common migrant in May. It prefers shrubby fields and willow swamps. Listen for the male’s buzzy two-parted beeee-bzzz song. The Golden-winged Warbler is also a common spring migrant during the second and third week of May. Their preferred nesting area is overgrown fields. The male’s song is a high buzzy bee bee bee. From a distance their silhouette may be confused with a chickadee. For a list of more Michigan warblers come in to check out our Field guides.

Watch video quiz:  https://youtu.be/Uj18bE2quJQ
Related Articles:
- Attracting Michigan Songbirds http://goo.gl/Gmn0b
- Michigan made suet feeders: http://bit.ly/rbKskX 

- What’s the best suet for Michigan wild birds? http://bit.ly/yAR4pm
- Best field guide for Michigan birds http://bit.ly/vPOMx1
- What are the Best Binoculars: How to Choose Optics http://bit.ly/vZW26j

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