Northern Parula

Northern Parula
Photo: Northern Parula on a willow tree

This little wood warbler wearing his dark necklace recently arrived from Central America to breed near wetland. Formerly classified in the genus Parus (meaning ‘tit’), along with Eurasian titmice such as the Willow Tit. A mnemonic for its song goes like this: zeeeeeeeeeee (buzzy)-chyoo.

  • On a tree by a river a little tom-tit
  • Sang ‘Willow, tit willow, tit willow’
  • And I said to him, ‘Dicky-bird, why do you sit
  • Singing ‘Willow, tit willow, tit willow’
  • “Is it weakness of intellect, birdie?” I cried
  • “Or a rather tough worm in your little inside” …
  • From the Mikado (Gilbert & Sullivan)

Next Post: Any Pecking Order in a Wolf Pack?

Eastern Screech Owl

Eastern Screech Owl

This miniature owl with a fierce visage is the rufous morph of Eastern woodlands. This little fellow rests securely on the gauntlet of a wildlife rehabilitator.

After colliding with a moving vehicle, he suffered brain injury and hasn’t recovered sufficiently to be released into the wild. But he now receives more attention as a celebrity for child and adult wildlife education. More often heard than seen he trills and whinnys to render the night more mysterious, even ominous.

  • Should one hear a badger call,
  • And then an ullot (owl) cry,
  • Make thy peace with God, good soul,
  • For shortly thou shalt die.
  • From David Naitby (circa 1800)

Next Post: The Kindness of Rehabbers

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Inge captured this beauty perched in a tree watching spivvy cedar waxwings feeding in a holly tree. The berry eaters ought to be grateful their guardian stood close by that day until giving up to hunt other small birds and mammals or frogs and snakes.

I am waylaid by Beauty. Who will walk

Between me and the crying of the frogs?

Oh, savage Beauty, suffer me to pass …

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

See a Red-tail sitting on three eggs at the Cornell Lab’s live cam in Ithaca, NY