Readers’ wildlife photos

September 21, 2022 • 8:00 am

Today we have bird photos taken yesterday Paul Edelman.  His notes are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.

Fall migration is starting in Tennessee and so I have been looking for migrants.  The attached photos were all taken on 9/20/22 at Radnor State Park, just a 20-minute drive from my home.  The photos were taken with a Nikon D500 using a Nikkor 500mm f5.6 lens.

The big attraction of migration are the warblers.  Here are the four that I was able to capture– the Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia), the Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens), the Common Yellowthroat (eating a spider!) (Geothlypis trichas) and a female American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla).  A little bit larger bird is the Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons).

Black-and-white Warbler:

Black-throated Green Warbler:

Common Yellowthroat:

American Redstart:

Yellow-throated Vireo:

Finally, there is a large lake at Radnor and a perfect habitat for flycatchers.  I’ve got two here, an Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens) and an Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe).

Eastern Wood-Pewee:

Eastern Phoebe::

11 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Great catch with the spider meal! (Looks like the phoebe might be hunting for a spider or two as well.) I’m impressed that you could even see some of these, let alone get such clear photographs.

    1. Excellent photos! Those passerines can be difficult to photograph.
      One ID check: the vireo appears to be a White-eyed Vireo on account of its yellow underparts extending to the vent, gray neck, and pale iris.

      1. You certainly could be right, but the breast was quite a striking yellow in real life–the picture doesn’t capture it. And the song was definitely a yellow-throated, although I didn’t actually see this bird singing. Identifying birds in the fall is so much harder! Thank you for the comment!

    1. Redstart, from Dutch ‘roodstaart’, meaning ‘red-tail’, or alternatively from old West Germanic “stertaz”, or NederDiets (Lower German) “start” or “stert” = tail.
      Redstarts (not all closely related) have a rufous (reddish) tail, or even completely rufous lower parts, although it admittedly looks more yellowish in that picture.

      1. On a side-note, is there a sound in English that actually sounds like an ‘open A’? The phonetic ‘ɑː’ as found in most languages? I can’t think of an English word with that sound, and I know of no other language lacking it, from from French or Dutch to Javanese or Japanese.

      2. This is a picture of a female American redstart which shows no red color at all–only that yellowish wash on the sides and tail. The male redstart has brilliant reddish-orange patches on its chest and tail.

        1. Paul, I will quibble a bit about the American Redstart’s sex. Since we are in the midst of Fall migration, many – actually more than half of most songbird species – of the birds passing through are ones born this year, what we bird banders call “hatch year” birds. And a hatch year male American Redstart has no reddish-orange patches. At least in the hand, hatch year males may show a bit of orangish at the breast, so can have sex assigned, but often have to be recorded as “sex unknown” if it isn’t present. And American Redstart males are our only warbler species which take two years to develop their striking adult plumage, so males that successfully return from their winter denizens are regularly and understandably mistaken for females.

          1. Bob,
            You are, of course, correct and I should be much more circumspect in my identifications, especially in the fall! Thank you for this informative post. It is to get this kind of education that makes posting here valuable to me!

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