Bird of the Month:
Meet the Yellow Warbler!
Summer is a perfect time to go searching for new feathered friends. This perky ray of sunshine is quite common in our area in spring and summer. Incredibly, the tiny Yellow Warbler flies all the way from South and Central America every spring to find places to breed in North America. Look for reddish streaks on the breast (males), a black beak and sweet black eyes in an unmarked face. Listen for its song – it sounds like it’s saying “Sweet, sweet, I’m so sweet…”
Yellow warblers feed mostly on insects, and can be found around woodland edges, streamsides and brushy areas. Look for them in late spring and early summer, as they often start their long migration south during the month of August. To learn the yellow warbler’s song, check out the Cornell birding website, ‘All About Birds.’ Getting to know the birds around you is part of LANDMARK 12 (Who Else Lives in Your Neighbourhood?).
Don’t be fooled by another common yellow bird – the American Goldfinch. Male goldfinches are also bright yellow in the summer, but they have a black cap and black wings. Goldfinches stay here for the winter, and are commonly seen all year at bird feeders.
For a bigger challenge for older children and youth, try reporting your bird sightings to eBird to help track trends in bird populations worldwide. This is LANDMARK 22 (Become a Citizen Scientist). Check out the Merlin website to help you learn to identify the birds you see. Watching birds is great fun, and a good focus for walks outdoors.
Photo by Kyle Dueck