March 22, 2018
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Warblers swoop in from southern sojourn

By Judy Kellogg Markowsky For the WEEKLY, Special to the BDN

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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