By Bob Wilson, CSP volunteer
Warblers are jewels among the neo-tropical migrants. Small and colorful, they are a delight any time of year, but seeing warblers in winter—when they really should be in Central America!—is something special.
At least three species of warbler have been hanging around Crystal Springs this winter:
- Yellow-rumped Warblers—whose slightly worn winter colors can’t disguise their distinctive “butter-butt”—are not unexpected this time of year, but they’re a treat nonetheless.
- Townsend’s Warblers, whose striking yellow-and-dark facial pattern makes them the brightest of the three, have continued to become more common since they first showed up on Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count in the mid-1900s.
- The rarest of the three is the Orange-crowned Warbler, whose nondescript yellowish-green plumage (sadly, with no orange crown in view most of the time) makes them easy to overlook; still, 15 were seen on this year’s Christmas Count…the most ever.