When it comes to the fall warblers, they are mostly an army dressed in olive drab. Gone are the bright colors of spring and summer. These birds are not interested in calling attention to themselves.
For those two reasons - lack of singing and absence of bright colors - the visitors can be easily overlooked as they busily search the leaves for insects, unless one is making a special effort to look for them. But I've been lucky enough to see several of the little birds recently because I have a secret weapon - water.
I have a small fountain in my backyard and it gurgles and splashes with water and that is a magnet to the birds, especially to the warblers. Every one that I have seen recently has been visiting that fountain. And so it was again on Tuesday.
Fall warblers can be hard to identify at times because they are in their drab winter clothes and I really wasn't sure about the one I saw Tuesday. After consulting every guide book I own, I finally decided that it was probably a Nashville Warbler.
It was a tiny bird. I'm not too good at estimating sizes but I saw the bird next to a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, which is about 3 3/4 inches long. This bird was not much bigger - probably about an inch. It had a very short tail and an eye ring but few other distinguishing marks. It was basically olive drab all over with just a hint of yellow on the breast and belly. Fortunately, I did have my camera handy.
|Looking the fountain over to decide if it is safe.|
|Giving me the eye. Can't be too careful!|
|Trying a sip.|
|And taking the plunge!|
|After the bath.|