Warblers are small songbirds with small beaks, which they use to glean insects from unfurling leaves in spring and summer. Tiny caterpillars or insects are their preferred food, so summer is a good time to see them - if you can! They tend to be found in leafy bushes or trees, often obscured by summer foliage. Yellow-Rumped Warblers, shown above, are among the larger warblers at 5 1/2" (14cm) and often the first to return to our valley as trees leaf out. They will often fly out from a tree branch to catch a flying insect, the flashes of yellow on the bird's rump, head and sides catching your eye. The one on the left has a beak full of food for its young.
MacGillivray's Warblers (below left) have a dark grey hood and a broken eye-ring. They nest in wetter forest in the west of Canada. Nashville Warblers (below right) are pretty birds, bright yellow underneath, with a pale grey hood and a complete white eye-ring. They are plentiful in summer in our valley, often seen or heard in mixed or deciduous woods. (Move mouse over images below to enlarge or see captions.)
Common Yellowthroats (above middle) are also warblers, and their song is distinctive, "Witchety, witchety, witchety". These little birds like to nest in willows near water, and sometimes in reed beds. The black 'mask' on the male gives it the look of a miniature bandit. As the species name implies, these birds are abundant here in summer. Bottom left: Orange-crowned Warbler and bottom right: Northern Waterthrush. Both like wetter forests, so are often found higher up in our valley.
Yellow Warblers are yellow! These warblers are only about 4"/10cm in size, and like to nest in bushes at the edge of woodlands especially near running water. They are plentiful in summer along Kelowna's Mission Creek Greenway. The yellow breast is faintly streaked with chestnut and the eye is a beady black. The song is distinctive, musical yet piercing.