Thursday, May 11, 2017

Magnolia Warbler

A non-birding trip for family matters pulled us away from Minnesota for the first week of May. Upon our return on 9 May, I restarted the water feature and opened my banding nets. Today, on the 10th, we enjoyed a relatively large warbler migration.

Roger Tory Peterson described warblers as “the butterflies of the bird world.” The male Magnolia Warbler is one of the most beautiful. The bird breeds in boreal forests of Canada and northern-most United States. Winter is spent in Central America and  in Caribbean islands.

Alexander Wilson collected the first specimen of this species from a Mississippi magnolia in 1810. You might think that ornithologists could come up with a better name. In fact, although giving the Magnolia Warbler its scientific name of magnolia, he called it the Black-and-Yellow Warbler (Dunn and Hall 2010).

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