Top Photo: Yellow-rumped warbler scans the willow branches for food.

Yellow-rumped warblers are on the scene in force. If you happen to be in the area of our Main Wetlands Overlook first thing in the morning, walk to the end of the platform, turn so your back is to the sun and watch the willows, wax myrtle, groundsel and bald cypress for movement.

If you’re lucky, and there at the right time, you’ll likely see many small, gray-brown birds with a hint of yellow on their flanks and a bright flash of the same color on their rumps moving through the trees. The birds are actively feeding on insects and other small invertebrates in the trees and shrubbery.

The warblers are migrating through, though some will stay for the winter. These largely insectivorous birds can switch to fruits, some seeds, and will even come to suet when the temps limit the availability of insects.

Here’s a small sampling of what I saw one morning this week.

If all of those yellow-rumped warblers weren’t enough to convince you fall is here and winter not far behind, the following photo reinforces the fact. Pyracantha, or firethorn, is a favorite winter food of many bird species including hermit thrush, American robin, northern mockingbird, and wandering flocks of cedar waxwings, though I see waxwings more often on the back side of winter and spring than in fall.

Pyracantha is ready.

As always, you have to be there to see it. So, get out and have a look around!

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