In the recent wintery weather did you see anything “different” at your feeders? Just yesterday, Jan. 17, I noticed something different at a tube feeder with a variety of Wood Thrush Shop blends. What caught my eye was a bird smaller than a Goldfinch that moved differently than the other birds. It was quicker as it moved among the branches to the feeder, and it was by itself. I then keyed in on the color which was more greenish-yellow than Goldfinches. Looking through my binoculars that I keep by the window where I watch birds it became clear I had an Orange-crowned Warbler. And it was the first recorded in my yard. I got a little video to share with you although the quality isn’t great.
The Orange-crowned warbler measures about 4 ½” in length and has no wing bars or distinctive marks. It’s olive-green to gray above, and yellow-green below. Looking through binoculars you may notice faint streaks on the breast. The orange on the crown is barely visible and seldom seen. They are primarily insect eaters but in this kind of weather they can adapt to small bits of seed and fruit.
Other birds of note during the snowy weather are the Yellow-bellied sapsucker, Fox sparrow, Hermit Thrush, Eastern Bluebird (eating suet and mealworms), and Red-winged blackbirds.
Always be extra vigilante during winter weather for the more unusual birds. They notice the additional bird traffic at feeders and follow in to investigate.