Saturday, May 24, 2003

New Yard Bird: Common Yellowthroat

Last Saturday morning (05/18/03), I was walking down the front staircase when I distinctly heard a loud, whistled song reminiscent of the Common Yellowthroat's witchity, witchity, witchity, witch, except that this was slightly different, more like tu-witchity, tu-witchity, tu-witchity,tu-witch. When I first heard the song, I was somewhat taken aback, not able to identify the singer because it was so out of place--the Common Yellowthroat being an inhabitant of brushy wetlands. But no, there the song was again. It had to be a yellowthroat! I walked to the front door, carefully opened it, and watched and listened from the threshold. Suddenly, I caught a flash of movement in the evergreen shrubs that line the front of the porch. Then, a male Common Yellowthroat in brilliant breeding plumage--yellow head and breast with a bold black mask across the eyes--hopped to the top of the bushes, gave one more outburst of his tu-witchity, tu-witchity, tu-witchity, tu-witch song, then fleeted away across the road. Probably a migrant headed back to his patch of breeding habitat, who was temporarily grounded by the heavy rains and overcast skies of the previous evening and sought shelter in the shrubs in our front yard. A nice way to start the day!

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