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05/21/12
No warblers, but lots of color
Filed under: General, Birding & Outdoors, Florida & SE US, Illinois, Birding "Patches"
Posted by: Ken @ 9:57 pm

After a lackluster early spring migration season in south Florida, I looked forward to catching up with the northbound warblers in northeastern Illinois. With each passing year I feel added urgency to make the most of every spring and fall. Now it seems that most of the warblers have also bypassed my summer home. In past years, fair numbers of warblers have shown up in local parks and forest preserves.

The warblers have left me high and dry, so instead of a taxonomic species list, I am compiling a color palette. What is prettier than a rainbow? Meet my friend ROY G BIV.

Web Bow 3-20090107

RED

Northern Cardinal, of course!

Northern Cardinal 20120516

Thankfully, there have been many Scarlet Tanagers here in Illinois this spring.

Scarlet Tanager 2-20120513

Both the red and the black of the Scarlet Tanager can be challenging for photographers, myself included, as the feather details tend to wash out.

Scarlet Tanager 4-20120513

This first year male Summer Tanager was a surprise visitor to the local Norris Woods Nature Preserve. They usually don’t venture this far north. He sang like a seasoned veteran, making him easy to find in the treetops. Getting a shot of his entire body among the leaves was another matter.

Summer Tanager 2-20120517

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak qualifies in the “Red” category…

Rose-breasted Grosbeak male 2-20120503

…as does this Red-bellied Woodpecker, whose head attracts much more attention than his undersides.

Red-bellied Woodpecker 20120513

ORANGE

Of course, the Baltimore Oriole belongs in this category,…

Baltimore Oriole 20120514

…as does the Monarch Butterfly.

Monarch Butterfly 20120508

More subdued, the Eastern Question Mark gets its name from a very inconspicuous identification mark.

Eastern Question Mark Polygonia-interrogationis 20120503

The undersides of the Question Mark make it invisible among dry leaves and tree bark, but this view shows the signature punctuation mark on its right wing (partially obscured by the flower on the left). Use your imagination.

Eastern Question Mark Polygonia-interrogationis underside 20120503

YELLOW

This one is easy! An American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch 20120518


American Goldfinch 20120510

Yellow Warblers are nesting and singing in the shrubby fields at Aurora West Forest Preserve.

Yellow Warbler 20120511

Yellow Warbler 2-20120510

Common Yellowthroats are reclusive, tantalizing us with loud songs from nearby thickets, but rarely coming out into the open.

Common Yellowthroat 20120511

This morning I photographed three Eastern Meadowlarks in full song. Here’s one.

Eastern Meadowlark 20120521

Although it is just a spot of color, it is enough to earn the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron its name.

Yellow-crowned Hight-Heron male  20120413

A Tiger Swallowtail certainly belongs here too.

Tiger Swallowtail 20100617

GREEN

I haven’t seen a green bird in Illinois this year, but shot this Female Painted Bunting back in Florida.

Painted Bunting female 2-20111023

In fairness to the female, I will place this male Painted Bunting in this category, though he could fit in at least three.

Painted Bunting 20111204

I captured this free-falling Orange-crowned Warbler here in Illinois in the autumn of 2011

Orange-crowned Warbler 20101017

I’m pretty sure this is a Clouded Sulphur, though I left my butterfly field guides back in Florida.

Green Butterfly

Unless you look closely, this bird appears to be a GINO (green in name only), a Black-throated Green Warbler.

Black-throated Green Warbler 20100827

BLUE

Though I’ve seen plenty of these guys here, none posed as nicely as this one that I shot in Florida before departing for Illinois.

Blue Jay 20120318

INDIGO

Indigo Bunting

Indigo Bunting 20120511

Eastern Tailed-Blue Butterfly, a tiny sprite but very colorful when it shows the top of its wings.

Eastern Tailed-Blue butterfly 2-20120510

VIOLET

I had to reach into the archives again, for this pair of male Boat-tailed Grackles in our Florida back yard

Boat-tailed Grackles 20110729

Common Grackles are, well, common in Illinois.

Common Grackle 20110923

The State Flower of Illinois is the Blue Violet, so this is actually a VINO.

Blue Violet

9 Responses to “No warblers, but lots of color”

  1. NatureStop Says:
    Great captures.A very different post for me:)So many different coloured birds..wow!!!Thanks for sharing!Have a great day. Shantana
  2. Mick Says:
    I can’t think of anything nicer than a perfect - and complete - color palette of birds!
  3. Eileen Says:
    Lots of colorful and beautiful birds in this post. I love them all! Gorgeous photos, Ken!
  4. Linda Says:
    What an amazing journey this morning! You have treated us to a veritable feast of birds and winged creatures! Thank you for the wonderful photos, and the identification to go along! Simply beautiful!
  5. Boom & Gary Says:
    Wonderful colour tour!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.
  6. Laurence Butler Says:
    Nice palette Ken! Painted Buntings are incredible, a palette in themselves, but I also really liked the Yellow Warblers and Indigo Bunting…even snaggin’ that Common Yellowthroat is cool. Looks like you’ve been busy! Great work, thanks for sharing.
  7. Pat Says:
    Loved this trip over the rainbow. Beautiful shots, Ken.
  8. Dave Says:
    wonderful stuff, I have recently visited Venezuela so can appreciate some of these species. I managed to see the yellow warbler, unfortunatly it was all too quick - your images have made me realise how little I saw of it and how I wish I was there again ah to dream
  9. Candy Says:
    Ken, You do such a wonderful with your photography. I enjoy your pictures and your posts so much. Thank you sharing with us Candy

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