What the Cape May Warbler in Pueblo City Park is eating and where it has been seen

I noted on the previous post that the Cape May Warbler appeared to be after some pretty small 'lumps' on a pine needle a few centimeters from it's bill as shown above.   Dave Leatherman, retired entomologist, shared the following in a post on Cobirds listserv regarding this bird's food sources: 

"Those look like the same aphids that have been attracting a lot of the late warblers along the Front Range.  I think it is the Powdery Pine Needle Aphid (Eulachnus rileyi or related species in the same genus).  Other warblers I have confirmed eating this same aphid of late are Blackburnian in Longmont, Yellow-rumped in Longmont, Yellow-rumped in Denver West Office Park, Palm Warbler in Denver West Office Park (per communication from Mark Chavez), Unknown warbler (probably Orange-crowned) in Denver West Office Park.  In autumn's past, I have seen a Blackburnian in Greeley, a Bay-breasted and Northern Parula in Boulder and a Pine in Loveland going for this same aphid."

Dave further related that these Powdery Pine Needle Aphids give birth to live young and females can reproduce without males.  This can result in a large number of aphids on a pine tree for birds like this Cape May Warbler to feast upon.  And that is what it looked like as this warbler foraged appeared to be feeding frequently for the hour we watched it, and interposed were breaks where it cleaned it's bill on branches.

After not being seen for several days, this Cape May Warbler was spotted again today in the same general area around the administration building in Pueblo City Park.  If you want to try for this rare warbler it has been consistently seen in the pine trees that are right around the Parks and Recreation Administration Office in Pueblo City Park as show below.  SeEtta


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