Saturday, January 31, 2015

Prairie Warbler Hunting

Call me lazy, but I like to finish my morning bird walk with a visit to my favorite "sit spot" just on the west side of the 196th Avenue levee, that runs along the canal across from our subdivision.  

These are views along the levee, looking  to the south:

196th Canal HDR COREL 20141213

Levee trail to south 20140903

The "sit spot"is too moist underfoot to actually sit, and during the wet season it is flooded to a foot or more, when I cannot descend all the way down the slope. Its advantage over other places is the open area in front, an unintended result of the "wreckreationalists" performing tight circles in the mud with their off-road vehicles. This provides greater sight distance than most places along the levee path, where lack of maintenance has allowed exotic elephant grass to form an opaque 8 foot wall.

This is the sit spot as the water was receding in late September:

ORV trail 20130929

Events in nature are subject to the laws of place, time and probability. We can control the where and when, and the better we understand the cycles of sun and season, the more likely our expectations will be realized. In my sit spot, depending upon the time of day and season, certain events are highly unlikely. Rather than trying to predict what I will see, I am open to anything. Such was the case this morning.

After a wait of several minutes to undo some of the disturbance I created by entering this quiet and shady place, it gradually came alive. Who knows how many eyes were fixed on me? Sixty feet away, in a space between the treetops, a Prairie Warbler appeared, looking very alert. 

Maybe he sees me:

Prairie Warbler 01-20150105

No. He is on a hunt. He sees the prey:

Prairie Warbler 02-20150105

He seizes the prey:

Prairie Warbler 03-20150105

He squeezes the prey:

Prairie Warbler 04-20150105

Prairie Warbler 05-20150105

He swallows the prey, a big juicy spider!

Prairie Warbler 06-20150105


  1. oh, he got a juicy bite! eek! :)

  2. Lovely sequence of shots of the Prairie Warbler.

  3. Cute little bird and what a catch he made.

  4. This is such a great sit spot and lucky you get to witness the warbler's feeding time. Gorgeous sky colors too.

  5. Oh you got some great pictures of him! That first one is just adorable!

  6. I love your description of your 'sit spot' Kenneth. The series of shots of the Warbler eating its meal are amazing. Thank you for id'ing the Great White Heron in my post. I learned something new today too. Much appreciate your help :)

  7. What an awesome series! Lovely captures!

  8. Absolutely incredible!!! What great action shots Ken! Fantastic.

    And that would be an ideal place to sit, relax and bird watch at the same time. Tranquil.

    Thanks for the comment today...and thanks for sharing this link at I'd Rather B Birdin'

  9. BEautiful sky shots and what a lovely bird.

  10. Wonderful the sky in the first shot. Beautiful bird!

  11. Your shots of this bird are amazing! Such a littel beauty! And the first shot ... a dreamlike sky!

  12. Amazing shots of this precious little bird! I hope to see one in person some day.

  13. What a little cutie (even when hes devouring a spider) amazing shots! if your 'sit spot' gives you views like that first shot then I definitely don't think you're lazy to hang out there!

  14. I see why that's a favorite spot. Beautiful photos.

  15. Beautiful photos of the warbler. Have a great week.


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