Thursday, May 14, 2009

Common Yellowthroat, Fledgling Wren

I spent a couple hours birding Lake Creek Trail today after work. Things were kind of slow as I expected. I saw this female Common Yellowthroat by the willow trees at the edge of the creek. It popped right up when I pished and briefly perched in the tall johnson grass. This species is probably the most common spring migrant warbler in our neighborhood. Nearby was a Yellow Warbler in the upper canopy of the same willow trees, and an Eastern Wood-Pewee a little lower.

By the footbridge I heard some chirping in the woods and found a family group of Carolina Wrens. There were 2 parents and 3 fledglings, all hopping around near the ground. I got this picture of one of the fledglings. See how it has the basic pattern of the adults (the stripe over the eye, buffy breast and brown back and wings), but see how short the tail and wings are. And also see the yellow coloration around the mouth. Many young birds have this and I believe it makes their open mouth more obvious when they beg for food from their parents. (This bird's eye is lit up from my camera's flash.)


Anonymous said...

I've seen Common Yellowthroats in my yard as well.... how long will they still be in our area?

Nice picture of the immature Carolina Wren... very interesting. I like to see how the young look so different at birth.

Thanks Mikael!

Mikael Behrens said...

Hi Moria,

Common Yellowthroats are winter residents in the Austin area, but in our neighborhood we mostly just see them during spring and fall migration. Their numbers are peaking right now but by early June they will be gone for the summer. Watch for them again in mid September.