Thursday, January 15, 2009
Townsend's Warbler on the hummingbird feeder
So I'm sitting at the computer, just having posted the blog on bats, and feeling that sense of satisfaction that I had some great stuff about nature to share. I'm ready to close up, go do the dishes, etc. when WHAMMO! Eighteen inches in front of me at the window hummingbird feeder an adult female Townsend's Warbler lands ON TOP of it. I sit with my mouth agape, staring at it, trying to encompass the idea of this amazingly beautiful bird so close I could touch her (except for the glass). She marches around the top, peering carefully at the openings for a way in to the goodies. Naturally my camera, which usually I keep nearby, is buried somewhere in the house. Sigh...
Now our neighbor Thera across the street has a hummingbird feeder that is more suitable for warbler bills; she tells us that she has seen a Townsend's warbler drinking at that hummingbird feeder for three years, and has sent us a photo to prove it. So it wasn't a complete surprise. Still...
After about a minute of searching, this female left. I'm left wondering: how did she find it? Is she, like hummingbirds, tuned in to the color red? Or did she watch the other hummers and follow them in?
The other thing I noticed: normally I consider warblers a small and delicate bird, but after watching the Anna's at this feeder, this Townsend's female looked like the size of a horse.
Wow. What a blessing on my day.
• photo Slodocents at Flickr.com CreativeCommons