Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Orange-crowned Warbler

In the Cannon River Wilderness Area on 17 April, the high point of our wildflower walk was actually a warbler. Because of its yellowish belly, lack of wing bars, and faint white eye stripe, I had no difficulty identifying this Orange-crowned Warbler, often a very common early migrant. eBird, when we tried to enter this record, alerted us that this bird was rare! Too early! Turns out that this bird, while not the earliest Orange-crowned Warbler in Minnesota history, is among the earliest.

A documenting photograph was required, but our warbler was not cooperative. It fed low in dense undergrowth. This image was the best I could take. The camera could not auto-focus through all the tangle, and the bird would not come out into the open. If you look closely, notice that it appears to be feeding on a small beetle; Despite the warm day, arthropods were not abundant.

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