In Spring, the woods of Nova Scotia become alive with birds and their songs. This last week, I went on a couple of canoe trips, mainly looking for trout, but the birds are all about as well. One group of birds that never ceases to amaze is the warblers that are here, some just passing through, but others are here to breed and still others are here as permanent year-round residents.
On one trip this week, I heard a lovely song in the canopy of a large tree, and looking up there was this little guy – an adult Yellow-rumped Warbler, and to be specific this guy is a Myrtle, so-called because the Yellow-rumped Warbler is the only warbler able to digest the waxes found in bayberries and wax myrtles. This, of course, allows the Yellow-rumped Warbler to forage much further north than many other warblers, due to their diet. They are also insect eaters, though, and with the number of Mayflies that were about the day I saw this guy, I suspect he was feasting on flies rather than berries.
As we get further into May and June, we’ll see more and more warblers – sometimes there are large flocks of mixed varieties of warblers – and so it’s a great time of year to be out in the woods and along the shore looking for these wonderful small birds. You’ll often hear them before you see them, but that’s part of the magic of these birds as well – their lovely voices adding to the sounds of the forest.
I think May and June may be my favourite time of year in Nova Scotia, although I love to be out in all seasons, because the warblers are here, and they add so much to my trout fishing expeditions!