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We caught this *Yellow* Palm Warbler hiding amidst a strand of young cypress trees, in some protected wetlands. Many people are in such a rush — they’re on the phone, or otherwise scaring the wildlife — when they visit our natural spaces, and they miss the tiny bright gems right in front of them. These adorable little shocks of yellow in our cypress and marsh are a lovely sight.

Palm Warblers are common winter residents in our marshy natural areas, migrating in the late fall to the southeastern U.S. and the Caribbean. The species is comprised of two distinct sub-species, the Yellow Palm Warbler and the Western Palm Warbler. Those breeding in the eastern range are entirely yellow underneath, while those inhabiting the western part of the range are duller in color, with whitish bellies. Palm Warblers primarily breed in bogs — east of the Continental Divide, across Canada and the northeastern United States. A distinctive feature of Palm Warblers is tail wagging, or “pumping.” More than other warblers, this bird forages on the ground for insects and berries.

Palm Warbler, Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Florida

Palm Warbler, Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Florida

Palm Warbler, Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Florida

Palm Warbler, Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Florida

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Val #

    That’s a very fine beak it has too – specialised for eating insect.

    I find it curious that many people can’t tell which birds mostly eat seeds and which mostly eat insects – the beak is the best indicator.

    I didn’t know there were warblers that wag their tails… do you get wagtails there at all? We get the pied wagtail which is black and white, and the grey wagtail which actually has yellow in its plumage, and it’s very difficult to take a good photo of them as the tail’s frequently a blur. (I’ve a setting on my camera to overcome this but have never quite mastered it.)

    July 14, 2012
    • I love this little guy…. Unfortunately, they’re winter guests to our area, so I only see them for a few months!

      You know, we do have wagtails in Florida, but I’ve never been able to distinguish them with any certainty — outside of capturing some birds furiously wagging their tails, that is! And you’re right — it’s so difficult to accommodate that action with the stillness of the rest of the bird. I have many strange (but interesting) shots…

      July 14, 2012

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