Not just the Black-throated Green is fledging right now. Most of the species that nest on the island have baby birds about with the exception of Leech’s Storm-Petrels, who’s eggs will begin to hatch in about a week. Yellow Warblers fledge after about 11 days in the nest. At this point, they are both large and feathered enough to regulate their own body temperature, and too large to all fit in the nest together. Fledging is a strategy birds employ to reduce the risk of continuing to put all their eggs in one basket, so to speak. Spreading out the fledglings ensures that a predator that takes one of the them will not eat them all and minimizes the risk of a disease affecting the entire clutch. Here is a Yellow Warbler fledgling and a pair of Winter Wrens, one fledgling, one adult.

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Here’s another look at the Black-throated Green Warbler feeding his fledgling.

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A female emerges through a clump of ferns near her nest. Despite her bright yellow coloration, she still manages to blend into her environment, especially in the dappling sunlight. Females will spend the whole day incubating in 12-20 minute bouts broken up 5-7 minute foraging bouts. I used a lot of observation as well as data from ibutton temperature recorders to get information about incubation rhythms. During some periods of incubation, the male will come to the nest to feed her and he sometimes even feeds her off of the nest. When she’s on the nest, she’ll look around and occasionally adjust her positioning, which also allows her to turn over the eggs underneath her. This particular female is intriguing because she seems to burp silently as often as once a second while on the nest.

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This is a Yellow Warbler nest, complete with an exterior of plant down and gull feathers. This nest was the first I found, but it turned out to be a little too conspicuous. Crows eventually got to it after the female had laid two eggs and I had to refind her new nest, which she started building immediately after depredation.

Also, happy Father’s Day to my Dad! I guess his nest is empty now, too, but fortunately not through the actions of crows.

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Here’s another warbler, the Blackpoll Warbler. There are a ton of species that pass through the island during migration, so there are continually new species popping up and leaving on the island. It’s fun to watch the waves of birds come through, and some of them are new species for me.

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A Mallard welcomes me home with open wings.

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