Monday, June 29, 2015

The Yellow-throated Warbler and the Cow Bird

immature Yellow-throated Warbler
After several weeks of hellishly hot, humid and miserable weather, we caught a brief break yesterday and today courtesy of a cold front that came through Saturday night.

Since most of the entire spring passed with very little birding I headed out early this morning. There was fog at the river early but it burned off fairly quickly.

The area I visited is a rich environment for Yellow-throated Warblers.  The feeding frenzy began early.  This year's fledglings begged and squabbled with each other for the parents attention.  Most trailed behind the adult bird and made some attempts at searching for insects.

My attention became focused on one particular adult that hunted with a sense of urgency beyond that of the other adults.

After several minutes of watching it fly off then come back I realized why.  The poor little warbler was trying to feed the insatiable appetite of a bird several times its size.

I really dislike when the Cow Birds show up.  I know that some poor bird is going to be suckered into taking care or a large bird that ultimately usually pushes the other chicks out of the nest.  Knowing the size difference between the warbler and the Cow Bird, I am sure the warbler chicks were pushed out early.  What a shame.

Regardless of how many insects the warbler brought to the young Cow Bird, every time the warbler flew off, the young bird was still begging for more.


Coppertop said...

Dislike for cow birds is mutual. I suppose nature has a reason for their behavior but just doesn't seem right.

Paula said...

I agree with you. Just doesn't seem fair for a small little bird to have to feed such a large bird.

G L Buzzell said...

Great catching this behavior, Paula. You are so observant.

Paula said...

Thanks Gladys. I felt so sorry for the little warbler. It would have to feed that bird all day long to ever fill it up.