Exploring Nature: Warblers

While most of its relatives migrate to the tropics in fall, the yellow-rumped warbler, able to live on berries in North America. Public domain photo

There are more than 50 species of warblers in North America, many of them with bright colors and beautiful patterns. Most rely on insects as their major food source, but one variety, the yellow-rumped, also eats lots of berries.

Susan Evans of Wimberley is the champion spotter that I know of, having recently identified five species at her home, including blackand-white, orange-crowned, Tennessee, golden-cheeked and northern parula.

The songs of warblers are mostly high pitched, with clear thin notes, trills and buzzes. In fact, they cannot really be said to “warble” very much and do most of their calling during spring migration, especially upon arriving at their regular nesting grounds.

I’ve always liked the informal name for yellow-rumped warblers, sometimes called “butter butts.” There are two varieties of these birds, Myrtle and Audubon’s. Most common in our area is the Myrtle.

San Marcos Daily Record

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