Another of the Wood-warblers to arrive early is the Nashville Warbler. We have tons of these in the Crane Lake area that arrive here on their breeding grounds to raise their family. I would say the Nashville Warbler is probably the most abundant Warbler here in Voyageur Country.
And the Tennessee Warbler is back on their breeding grounds. What funny names for birds! In my opinion, the Nashville Warbler should be re-named the Minnesota Warbler and the Tennessee should be named something besides Tennessee –
The little jewels of the forest are coming back up north in droves now. Another early migrant is the Pine Warbler.
This morning I heard them calling at Handberg’s Marina. They nest in the Pines on the point at Handberg’s. One of their songs is a trill. It sounds a lot like the Chipping Sparrows that are trilling now too. But the Pine Warbler has a more “musical” trill. Okay, I understand that a trill can hardly be musical, but if you listen carefully and often, you can tell the difference between the two trills.
Another good place to find Pine Warblers are in the Pines at the Vermilion Gorge. And a really great place is up on the islands on the big lakes in Voyageurs National Park. You may think they’re insects buzzing sometimes, but sit back and watch for movement in the Pines and you will most likely spot a Pine Warbler.
In my opinion, this is one of the few birds that are actually named for their habitat and it makes sense.
Black & White Warbler
The Black & White Warbler makes an early come back. I have a friend that affectionately calls this bird the “Zebra Bird”, I like that!
They were previously called a Black and White Creeper because of their behavior. They act more like a Nuthatch or a Brown Creeper in the way that they forage. They will creep along branches sometimes hanging upside down as they look for insects and their larvae.
Black & White Warbler battling an insect
Up north, one of the earliest flowers to bloom in the spring is the Trailing Arbutus. They have a lovely aroma, but you have to get down close to smell the light fragrance.
Trailing Arbutus, not snow!
Birds are trickling back into the area. The first Warbler to arrive is the Yellow-rumped Warbler – subspecies “Myrtle”
“Myrtle” sub-species of the Yellow-rumped Warbler
Many of the birds are coming back already and setting up their nests.
Tree Swallows, Trumpeter Swans, Osprey, Eastern Phoebe are all anxious to get started on their new families.
This morning, the Kingfisher is rattling back at the gravel pit and the Wilson’s Snipe is winnowing overhead. The Tree Swallows are repairing their nest in the nest box down by the driveway and now it’s raining. Just in time for May Day!
I found this very animated Hermit Thrush down the Echo Trail the other day. Their song is one of the most beautiful birdsongs out there. Their flute-like voice can be heard through out the woods up north. The Hermit Thrush is one of our most common birds and they are most often heard, but not seen. They are known skulkers and rarely come out and show themselves.
Formerly known as Snowbirds, the Juncos are coming back up north in droves.