Thursday, October 17, 2019

Black-throated Blue Warbler

My favorite bird is usually the one I am viewing with my camera, or the one in the photo I am editing-- or maybe it is the best one seen today or this year or in my whole life. Sometimes I just get taken away and overdose on a certain bird which lingers close by, or is brilliantly colored, or one of this species.

The Black-throated Blue Warbler is simply patterned in black and blue and white. This migratory songbird breeds to our north and most winter in Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Cuba and Jamaica as well as in the Bahamas. Some may stay here in South Florida for the winter. In addition to eating insects, it is attracted to fruiting plants such as Lantana, Firebush, Trema, Brazilian Pepper and Ligustrum:

Black-throated Blue Warbler male 01-20191009

A group  of five or six Black-throated Blue Warblers suddenly entered the area which I call the Lantana Patch just as I was ready to depart. Few small birds had been visible, almost certainly because a Sharp-shinned Hawk had been skulking in the trees. I suspected its presence when I heard a few subdued and brief alarm calls. Then the small raptor burst out of cover and flew off. The warblers, no longer threatened, appeared out of  the low brush and started feeding on a row of Firebush (Hamelia patens) which had flowers, berries and lots of spiders and caterpillars.

They were very active and it was difficult to obtain clear views. This male flew out and perched in open shade for a few seconds as I took a burst of photos. A remnant filament of spiderweb stuck to his bill: 

Black-throated Blue Warbler male 02-20191009

Black-throated Blue Warbler male 04-20191009

They often foraged on the ground:

Black-throated Blue Warbler male 093-20191009

Within 5-10 minutes I took over 100 photos. Most were out of focus because the birds moved about behind the foliage. This bad one was interesting as it shows an out-of focus warbler but highlights the food sources, as this species takes nectar from the flowers, eats the berries and enjoys finding all the leaf-destroying insects on this Firebush:

 Firebush Hamelia patens 20191009

You may be getting bored, but here is a selection of "keepers" where I caught decent views:

Black-throated Blue Warbler male 05-20191009

Black-throated Blue Warbler male 092-20191009

Black-throated Blue Warbler male 08-20191009

I counted 5 male and 2 female Black-throated Blue Warblers. The females were very reclusive and I obtained only partial images. On September 23 I got a fairly decent photo of one. Her plumage differs greatly from that of the male, but there is a diagnostic white area at the base of the primary wing feathers of both sexes: 

Black-throated Blue Warbler female 02-20190923

Also present in the Lantana Patch were Ovenbirds...

Ovenbird 02-20191009

Ovenbird 01-20191015

...a camera-shy Prairie Warbler...

Prairie Warbler 20191009

...and my first-of season Painted Bunting, a green female:

Painted Bunting female 20191004

Painted Bunting female 2-20191004

Along the way, this one-eyed Northern Mockingbird turned a blind eye to trespassers:

Northern Mockingbird one-eyed 01-20191004

Northern Mockingbird one-eyed 02-20191004

A Florida Tree Snail slithered down a reed:

Florida Tree Snail 3-20191004

In mid-October, heavy clouds obscured the view of the full Hunter's Moon as I stood at the shore of the lake hoping to see it set almost due west. Suddenly, the Moon emerged beneath the cloud deck:

Hunters Moon setting 2-20191013

If you squint a bit you may see a pumpkin face:

Pumpkin Moon setting 20191013

Hunters Moon setting 20191013

The next morning, almost an hour before sunrise, the Moon lit  our path as it shone out of a clear black sky:

Hunter's Moon 20191014:

It reflected on the surface of the slough in the wet prairie:

Hunter's Moon over wet prairie 20191014


= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy

Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James

Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh
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Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display
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14 comments:

  1. Beautiful sky shots. I like the pumpkin moon!!

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  2. What a wonderful and inspirational bunch of pictures. I love the shot showing the food sources, the shot with the filament of spider web and the shot showing the moon on the horizon. I have sometimes tried to get shots showing a distant moon looking so large but never really succeeded

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  3. Hello, beautiful scenic views and nice captures of the moon. I love the Black-throated Blue warbler, the male is so pretty. I agree with your favorite bird comment. The shell on the snail is pretty. Lovely series of photos and great birds. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend! PS, thank for leaving me a comment.

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  4. Blue Warbler is a beauty, but does not live in Finland. Stunning moons.

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  5. The Black-throated Blue Warbler is very nice little bird!
    Beautiful photo series!

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  6. Awesome birds portraits and your sun shots are simply amazing!

    isabella

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  7. We are all in awe of the Black throated Blue Warbler! WOW! I hope I can see one here some time. It's fun to see anything out of the ordinary! And of course ordinary is pretty amazing here in FL! Enjoy your weekend!

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  8. Wow!! Your camera really picked up the colors well!! Beautiful images. (And love the snail)

    For registering your link to this post for us birders at I'd Rather B Birdin' this week, I thank you. Have a spectacular day.

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  9. I love the Black-throated Blue Warblers. You did a good job photographing the moon.

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  10. Lovely images. That blue warbler is a stunner!
    Thanks for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2019/10/toothless-carnivores.html

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