Thursday, December 10, 2020

Warbler Guy, is it unusual to see wood-warblers at backyard seed feeders? Wood-warblers at feeders I can expect to see?

 Jerry (in southern Michigan).....Great questions. 


In your area this time of year, I'd expect potential seed feeder sightings from a lonely, uncommon Pine Warbler or Yellow-rumped Warbler.

In the West along coastal California, it's not common, but Townsend's Warbler could show up along with Yellow-rumped.

Yellow-rumped subspecies in the lower 48 states —both Myrtle and Audubon's — are able to digest waxy coatings on seeds (such as privet and wax myrtle berries), unlike most other wood-warbler species....and they also seem to have hearty digestive juices to process seeds (as does Pine).

Otherwise, I have to admit in my 40 years of birding, I've never seen any other species at seed feeders.....though nectar feeders sometimes coax Cape May Warbler, among others.

As an FYI, I'm soon leading a tour to Bodega Bay, so I'll stop at Diekmann's Store in this town. Below its foundation on the adjoining hillsides that slope downward toward Bodega Bay, the understory this time of year, typically attracting wood-warbler species such as Townsend's (non-breeding resident) Orange-crowned (breeding resident, with some "over-wintering,") and/or Yellow-rumped Warbler (primarily, the Audubon's subspecies: Setophaga coronata auduboni with S. c. cornonata (Myrtle subspecies of the Yellow-rumped Warbler).

Bodega Bay, by the way, is one of the most popular birding destinations for the birders I lead on tours throughout central and northern California.

Thus, feel free to see the "Birding Tours" section of my web site:

Regards, Daniel Edelstein

415-382-1827 (office)
415-246-5404 (iPhone 12 Pro)

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