Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Series of Cape May Warbler pics, including a fight scene

I participated in the South Padre Island Convention Center Big Sit, my first. One of the neat things during the 7 hours I stayed there (Scarlet Colley, who organized the Big Sit, and Elizabeth Cavazos, were there for 15 hours) was this Cape May Warbler. Not only was this a lifer for me but this bird was apparently very, very hungry as it returned again and again and again for hours to feast on the orange halves provided for migrants during not just the Big Sit but all spring migration.
Don't know if it was an unusually aggressive or territorial warbler, or just starving so not wanting other warblers sharing the oranges but it fought with every other warbler that came near. This second shot shows the Cape May in a brief battle with a Tennessee Warbler. This also offers a difficult to see view of it's white wing coverts opened fully, as well as it's yellow rump.
So I got observe this bird off and on for hours, and I got a number of pics of the bird.
Interestingly the birders frequenting South Padre Island report that this Cape May stayed in the gardens at the Convention Center for about a week, and it continued to feed on the oranges. Since South Padre Island is a barier island and the first landfall for migrating birds coming the long way across the Gulf of Mexico it stands to reason that some number of these birds would be extremely hungry as well as in need of the shelter from the trees that have been planted for them at this location. SeEtta