Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hooded Warbler on nest

 A well-concealed female Hooded Warbler, Setophaga citrina, tends to nest duties. Her abode was constructed a few feet off the ground in a young red maple sapling, and was astonishingly difficult to see.

Along with Brian Zwiebel, I was able to spend some time with Kelly Williams-Sieg last Saturday in southern Ohio's Tar Hollow State Forest. Kelly, for several years now, has been studying the nesting and foraging behavior of several species of wood-warblers, including the Hooded Warbler. It is eye-opening to spend time in the field with her, as she - and her crew members - have become very proficient at finding nests, and that's not an easy task.

We were close enough that Senora Hooded stayed hunkered down on her eggs, but not so close that she would flush. Note all of the leaf detritus used to construct the nest - from afar, it looks just like a clump of dead foliage. Nonetheless, black rat snakes, chipmunks, Brown-headed Cowbirds and other predators are adept at finding such nests and mortality is high.

Thanks to Kelly for the fun and informative field trip; more to follow.

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1 comment:

KaHolly said...

How very cool is that??