Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Yellowthroat in the shrubbery

Just now as I was walking across the UNO campus to my night class, I heard a familiar chunk note come from one of the ornamental hedges by the student union building.

Another Common Yellowthroat- my third or fourth serendipitously detected in the shrubbery on campus in the last month.  A small brown bird with a yellow throat and upper breast, and- in adult males- a black mask.

Common Yellowthroats are by far the most common migratory species for me to detect in ornamental vegetation on the UNO campus- probably by a margin of 10 to 1 over any other migrant species.  This is enigmatic, since the species is near the picky end of the spectrum when it comes to using urban habitats in winter or summer.  It is so averse to the urban landscape then that I know of no nesting sites or wintering sites for it here within the city, even though it is numerous at both seasons just outside our perimeter in freshwater marshes.

Yellowthroats show up in the city in fall migration- September and October.  So for the next few weeks, keep your ears open for their short husky chunk note, even in the most perfectly manicured shrubbery.


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