ARTISTS AND BIRDS
by Marilyn and Keith Davis
"Talk to a Bird"
This spring several Elementary Schools came to Tonaquint Park for a learning experience, and the Red Cliffs Audubon got to help teach the students about our amazing Birds.
There are more than 50 species of warblers in North America and my very favorite is the Yellow Warbler. I think the Yellow Warbler must like children because it was right there, outside the Tonaquint Nature Center making sure that all 2nd, and 3rd Grade students could hear his song (tsee, tsee, tsee, tsee, tsee, titi, wee) and possibly see his buttery yellow feathers with a few reddish streaks on the breast. The Yellow Warbler is known to sing its sweet whistled song from willows, wet thickets and places like the mature trees right outside the Tonaquint Nature Center. It was pretty cool when the instructor played a recording of a Yellow Warbler and a bird answered back singing that same song. A student said . . . "Itís almost like we talk to a bird."
Yellow Warblers eat midges, caterpillars, beetles, leafhoppers and other bugs and wasps that people hate. Yehhhh! The nests of the Yellow Warbler are frequently parasitized by the Brown-headed Cowbird (laying their eggs with the warblerís eggs to be hatched and raised by the Warbler). In retaliation, the Yellow Warbler often builds another nest directly on top of the old one, abandoning both its own eggs and the Cowbirdís eggs. Sometimes the result is nests with up to six tiers. This is a very intelligent bird.
The Yellow Warbler spends most of its time in the US, Canada and Mexico. They are the most numerous Warbler in North America. Parents, and Grandparents too . . . if you would like to find beautiful Yellow Warblers, look in your own backyard, visit the Tonaquint Pond, or come along on one of our field trips. Public is always welcome on our field trips and at our meetings. To answer questions about birds or the upcoming activities of the Red Cliffs Audubon call 435 673-0996 or visit our home page. Marilyn Davis is the artist this week.
- Red Cliffs Audubon