Sunday, May 11, 2014

Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warblers are one of the warblers that I love seeing. First, you have their rarity. I don't ever see many in a given year, and there are years when I don't run across one. Then you have their throat color. Baltimore Oriole orange is awesome, but it is fairly uniform. The color on a Blackburnian Warbler grades from yellow orange on the top and side of the head to flame orange on the throat. When the light catches it right, it is special.

This guy was feeding in a Red Oak at Schramm Woods. I probably spent a half hour looking for him and watching him. I kept hearing him in the top of the tree, but it took me a while to find a good angle. He was still a good distance, but occasionally I would get a good look. He was very active in the oak, but at least he didn't move from tree to tree.
If you can believe wikipedia, this warbler was named after an English botanist from the eighteenth century named Anna Blackburne. Sounds reasonable enough. She devoted herself to taxonomy, and sent Linaeus many specimens. She also has a beetle named after her.
In 1776, Philipp Ludwig Statius Müller published the first scientific description of many animals. He named the Blackburnian Warbler for Anna Blackburne.
You can see he has caught a caterpillar in the photo above. It seemed like he found many in the time I was watching.
He is an amazing work of art. I was glad.

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