Warblers swoop in from southern sojourn

Posted May 18, 2009, at 3:18 p.m.
Last modified March 20, 2011, at 6:38 a.m.

Fields pond Audubon Notebook

In Maine, May is the month that birders wait for all year, because that’s when the warblers return. Warblers are wonderfully quick-moving, colorful and beautiful. They are a challenge to see and identify.

The first warblers to arrive are the ones that spend the winter in the southeast states.

The yellow-rumped warbler has arrived! This warbler is said to have “a yellow vest and pants.” It’s a very abundant warbler. It has a black mask around its eye and a white line above its eye. It can appear very tame as it flits among the trees and bushes and snatches little flies.

Another early-arriving warbler is the pine warbler. It’s not as abundant as the yellow-rumped warbler, but on a cold day it might come to check a feeder where it sometimes feeds on suet or peanut butter.

A nondescript, yellow and olive green warbler, it spends most of the spring high in the top of pine trees – but watch for this warbler this week and next. It has arrived at the Fields Pond Audubon Center.

I always see palm warblers on the banks of the Kenduskeag Stream on the third weekend of April during the Kenduskeag Canoe Race.

The palm warbler sports a russet cap and often raises and lowers its tail as it walks on the ground. It can be seen from the Orono Bog Boardwalk in Bangor – not in the forest, but in the open part of the bog. There’s even a sign there where the bird lives.

The fourth warbler to arrive early is the black-and-white warbler. Not a colorful warbler but an interesting one, this little bird clambers around trunks of trees like a nuthatch. The black-and-white warbler makes its nest on the ground in a mature forest with large trees.

You could see these birds and more on our May bird walks.

Fields Pond Audubon Center offers free bird walks this month at 7 a.m.:

. Friday, May 8, Ecotat Gardens and Arboretum, Hermon.

. Saturday, May 9, Fields Pond Audubon Center, Holden.

. Tuesday, May 12, at the Indian Trail Park, Brewer.

. Wednesday, May 13, Cascade Park, Bangor.

Those who wish to go on the bird walks are encouraged to just show up. To obtain more info, call 989-2591.

May is the time to put out a humming bird feeder because the hummer will arrive in a few days. Be sure to clean the feeder every third day.

For information on Fields Pond Audubon Center, call 989-2591.

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