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This Morning Outside

by Diane Porter

October 3, 2010
At Birdwatching Dot Com
Fairfield, Iowa

In a grand finale to the season of warbler migration, flocks of yellow-rumped warblers fill the trees. In perpetual motion, they harvest wild grapes and other small fruits to fuel their migration.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Photo copyright 2010 Michael and Diane Porter

—Diane Porter

Yellow-rumped WarblerThis bird is beautiful in fall, but it's more impressive in spring, when it has black breast patches and a dramatic facial pattern. The challenge to the beginning watcher of warblers is to recognize this muted beauty as the same bird as the colorful, singing spring male yellow-rump.

Of course, the trick with all warblers is to look for them when they are where you are! You can't see any warblers at all when there's snow on the ground.

Yellow-rumped WarblerOne reason that yellow-rumped warblers are still around after most other warblers are gone is that yellow-rumps are adaptable enough to eat grapes and other small fruits. Most warblers depend more completely on insects, which tend to disappear in cold weather. Here a yellow-rump plucks grapes high in a tree.

If you still have warblers, enjoy them now!

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