Marsh Marigolds and Connecticut Warblers

Marsh Marigold

The Marsh Marigolds, or what some people call Cowslips, are just starting to bloom. These were photographed at the Astrid Lake Hiking Trail. I have been to this trail often this spring because it is so awesome! The portion of the trail that goes to the south from the Echo Trail (or County Road 116) is in a bog area. There are pitcher plants and leatherleaf and labrador tea bushes. A primitive boardwalk takes you through the bog. In this very specialized habitat not only are the plants unique, but the bird life is also distinctive to this setting.

Almost immeadiately upon entering the bog there was a YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER calling. He came and sat right in the black spruce tree that was off the trail affording some great looks at this bird.

A little ways later I could hear a Connecticut Warbler calling: tu-chibee-too, chibee-too, chibee-too. It is a loud and easily recognized song. This is an exciting bird that you just don’t run into everyday. At the end of the boardwalk, a pair of Connecticut Warblers came right out of the bog and were sitting on branches singing and interacting. What an incredible sight! I was ecstatic! Most of the time this bird will skulk in the underbrush and you will hear the bird but rarely will they show themselves.

The CONNECTICUT WARBLER is another one of the Wood-warblers that are mis-named. They do not breed out east – they nest in a very localized area of the upper midwest and Canada – they only occur in other areas during migration and rarely do they venture into Connecticut. So how did they get the name? Back in the 1800’s when the various bird species were being identified and named for the first time, Alexander Wilson found this bird in Connecticut and decided to name the bird after that state. Maybe a better name would be Bog Warbler (?)

Black-backed Woodpecker by Laura Erickson 

I also saw a Black-backed Woodpecker in this area. Another very special bird that frequents our boreal forest.  (photo by Laura Erickson)

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