Black-Throated Blue Warbler

January 10, 2017  •  2 Comments

The eBird range map for this species shows far more occurrences in the Northwest than I was aware of.  Which might explain why I only encountered a total of maybe 20 people during my first three visits to the site.  Inclement weather is likely the another reason for the relatively low turnout at this otherwise very accessible location that is surrounded by a lot of friendly and inquisitive neighbors.  

The most surprising past observation was by Greg Gillson while offshore during a pelagic trip out of Newport in 2011.  

There was a debate about whether suet cakes should be placed on the ground in the vicinity where the bird was presumably first observed.  My first thought was, why not!  Someone else said doing so would put the warbler at risk to be taken by a cat.  I thought that suggestion was nonsense, especially after finding a lot of feeders in the neighborhood, one Certified Backyard (bird) Habitat, and watching the warbler feed directly below a hanging suet feeder but never using that feeder or any of the others in the area.  Well, that was before today.

What I am at a loss to explain is why someone who hates to be wrong, is wrong so much of the time :-)

I hope you enjoy the pictures.

The Certified Backyard Habitat - ironically with a cat!  (This could be me by the way - we like cats):

The orange, pink, or salmon colored host-house.  You decide:

With the hanging suet feeder that ultimately led to my downfall: What I would have given for a few more lumen per square meter - it would have allowed for some great diagnostic stop-action images.  Oh well.

Now for the star of the show.

Hawking insects from its perch atop the hanging suet feeder:

Enjoying a leisurely meal of suet while I was gagging crow:


Comments

2.greg haworth(non-registered)
It's enough for me to know the bird visited the area. I don't have to see it to know it's here; i have your and others reports and pictures. Your pictures are pretty darn good, as always.
1.Lars Norgren(non-registered)
I have yet to see this species in Oregon, but it occurs often enough now that "vagrant" may not be the best descriptor. I don't recall where I read it, but small numbers of Black-throated Blue Warblers over-winter in California. I think this occurs in residential areas.
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