Thursday, June 2, 2011

Nectar-sipping Tennessee Warblers


Did you know Tennessee Warblers drink nectar? I sure didn't. Prof Dan did. That's one of the greatest aspects of banding with a retired ornithology prof: the continual "cool!" moments when you learn something new (and for me, there's a lot of those).

The wild plum trees between our veggie garden and the meadow to the east were full of warblers last week. At first I thought they were picking the bugs off the blooms, but then I realized they were actually going from flower to flower and sipping the nectar. They'd stick their beak in as far as it would go, one after the other.


Of course, that meant go grab the camera and for the next half hour or so I was completely enthralled watching the birds as they hopped around. They'd hang upside down, stretch way up on their tippy toes - generally looking like they were in a Twister game, all for the nectar.


Several Nashville Warblers joined in the fun and games, too.



Periodically they'd switch over to our crab apple tree.


Judging by the spicier, almost muskier scent of the crab compared to the plums, I'm guessing it was to cut their sugar high.

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