Chitter, chitter, chitter, squawk, chitter…..keeer-r-r-r…BANG. My casual Saturday morning meandering through the house suddenly turned into a gallop as I made my way out the back door to scan our deck for what I was sure was a bird bang on our rear picture window. However, no bird body in sight. Hmmm…
The chittering and squawking rang in my ears as a familiar raucous of one bird fleeing another. On more than one occasion, I have been witness to the sight of a small song bird fleeing the intimidating hooked beak and sharp talons of a raptor.
Only when I peaked behind my garden wagon did I find the most beautiful bird I’d seen in years. I quickly called back into the house for my husband to grab his camera. We both stood starring at the tiny grey-blue wood-warbler trembling at our feet. After a few shots were snapped I decided to pick up the bird and let my naturalist instincts move into action. I coddled and spoke sweet nothings to this minute creature. Within minutes the shaking stopped and it began to look upwards to the nearby limbs as if to say “I can make it, just let me try.” I held my hand open but no movement. Still looking a little shaken from the entire experience I placed the Northern Parula (Parula Americana) in a mulch-caked pot. Taking a few steps backward I was determined to memorize the colorful plumage before it slipped from sight. I remained entranced by its beautiful blue-grey head and green mantel, the two conspicuous white wing bars, its orange lower mandible, its dark “necklace” and the perfect white eye rings.
Within a moment, the tiny 5” warbler lifted its short tail and sprang from the pot sounding a strong clear chip. Disappearing into the maple leaves I remained on our deck still paralyzed with joy from this brief experience with one of nature’s most beautiful warblers. As the morning passed into afternoon and afternoon into a beautiful glow of evening light I couldn’t help but strain my ears in an attempt to hear the tiny Northern Parula sing its song of rising buzz and crisp zo zo zo zid zid zeeeeee-tsup.
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