Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Yellow-rumped Warblers foraging & warming today @ 12º F in Canon City


I spotted 5 Yellow-rumped Warblers foraging at The Abbey in Canon City today. With the temperature about 12º F there were clearly not a lot of insects about for them to feed on. While I watched the warblers flew under a large branch that appeared to provide shelter and the possibility of warming up by fluffing up their feathers where they were protected from the wind.

In the pics just above and below three of the five Yellow-rumped are perched in the shelter of the large limb with their feathers fluffed up to warm them.
After perching all fluffed up for several minutes these warblers groomed their feathers for a minute or two as can be seen in this brief video clip below:
YRWarblers-12 d F,TheAbbey from SeEtta Moss on Vimeo.
The bottom two pics show one of the warblers perching briefly in the shelter of a building where it had been foraging against the wall for insects (a good place to get them usually).

Note all photos were taken with high zoom (near or at 100X magnification) and then most were cropped some to enlarge the birds more---I stayed in my car and did not drive closer to get better quality photos as I did not want to risk disturbing the birds who are stressed by the exceptionally cold weather. In fact I didn't start my engine and leave when I was done as I was concerned that would flush them so I waited for them to move away on their own. Even though a limited number of Yellow-rumped Warblers often overwinter in the usually mild winter climate here I felt badly for these birds trying to survive in this unusually harsh weather. Getting good bird photos is not in my view more important than the birds' health and welfare. SeEtta