Warblers are returning! The yellow-rumped warbler came first. I was walking from Avalon to the Hampden Library when I saw this one. It is larger than most, and the most visible warbler because it often perches upright on prominent twigs. (Most warblers perch within and among all the tree leaves.)
The second returnee was the pine warbler, and he visited my suet holder. I think this pine warbler is the same bird that came last year, when he began by eating little crumbs of suet on the ground. Then he learned to eat the suet from my feeder.
This year I set up a pine cone with peanut butter between the scales of the cone. I put a suction cup on my window and put the cone with peanut butter on the window. The pine warbler has learned how to get the peanut butter from between the scales of the pine cone. Smart bird!
My third warbler this year was the palm warbler, a bird of bogs. The Orono Bog Boardwalk is one place to find palm warblers. The first ornithologist to name this bird must have found it in Florida, not Maine.
The fourth warbler to appear was the black-and-white warbler. This warbler acts like a nuthatch, hopping up, down and all around on the trunks of large trees.
Ospreys are here, too. I went birding with Christina Diebold to Stockton Springs and saw a couple of ospreys starting a nest. The male flew away and brought back a 2-foot-long stick. He put it next to the female, and they stayed together for a minute. Then the male climbed onto the female, and they mated. They stayed together for a few minutes until the male flew away. After three minutes he came back with another stick. Same thing happened again. They did it another time. What a sexy couple!
Penobscot Valley Chapter of Maine Audubon will offer a program titled “Sea Lampreys Return to Sedgeunkedunk.” Spring 2010 marked the first season in more than 200 years that sea-run fish species could recolonize this stream. Robert Hogg will discuss how a resurgent sea lamprey fishery may assist in the restoration of sustainable habitat for the endangered Atlantic salmon at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 12, at Bangor Public Library. The program is free.
For information on Fields Pond Audubon Center, call 989-2591.