May 9, 2021
A massive migration is on the move. Oriels and Grosbeaks are quickly making their way up from warmer climates to cooler places that may eventually warm up. Warblers of every variety change their feathers, putting on their best. Yellow-rumped Warblers add a bluish tinge to their suit, with a yellow stripe down the center of their forehead, matched by a yellow blot in the middle of their tale and yellow sidebars on their wings. The Palm Warbler garnishes a red cap matched by rusty strips down the center of its yellow plumage. The Black-throated Blue Warbler comes with a black beard, yellow belly and beautiful blue overcoat. The Canada Warbler wears a dark blue neckless on her yellow undercoat, with a light blue overcoat. The Black and White Warbler wears a black and white pin striped suit, dressed to the nines, while the shy Prothonotary Warbler is prized for its deep yellow body graced with subtle blue/grey wings. The Common Yellowthroat Warbler comes with a black mask, while the Hooded Warbler adorns a yellow mask over the eyes. The American Redstart is black with bright orange markings, while the Northern Parula supports a deep blue overcoat, with a yellow vest centered by a rust red bib. The first time I spotted a Blackburnian Warbler in the sun, I thought it was plugged in, with a radiant orange throat over against fresh green foliage in the tree.
Each of these birds are presently on the move, choosing Canadian forests to build their nests and lay their eggs for the next generation of frequent flyers. But the window for sightings is relatively short, for three reasons. Most of them are just passing through. Secondly, this is the time when they are showing their finest colors, to see and be seen, to attract their fellow mates. And thirdly, it’s been rather cool this spring and the leaves in the trees have remained rather tight. As soon as the sun warms up and temperatures continue to rise, foliage will flourish, leaves will unfold and forests become great protection and hiding places from preying eyes. It will be hard to spot them during the summer months. While some birds stay all year around, so many more are now passing through. It’s another one of those amazing and awe-inspiring rhythms that point to our creator and His Glory and the fullness of life.