First-Year Migrants

Northern Parula

Northern Parula

Imagine what it’s like to experience your first spring migration. Maybe you have some idea of where you’ve stopped since you made it through fall migration, but it’s been a while. After birding LaBagh Woods this morning, where I found these first-year warblers, I could barely remember where I parked my car. These guys are flying hundreds, maybe thousands, of miles and they’re not lost.

American Redstart

American Redstart

I knew about first-year male American Redstarts, but this is the first time I’ve thought about first-year Northern Parulas since I haven’t seen that many Parulas in my birding lifetime.

It was a beautiful day in Chicago, if a bit on the chilly side this morning. The birds became more active when the sun took hold.

I will try to post more from LaBagh and some other spring haunts, but I’ll be out of town two days for work this week and in northern Michigan for Memorial Day weekend. The garden has suffered through all this: I just started digging out my vegetable patch this evening – but at least that made my robins ecstatic.

A few more pictures of the Northern Parula and the American Redstart. For one year, they almost look alike.

N Parula IMG_0111_1

Northern Parula

Redstart IMG_0080_1

American Redstart, first-year male

N Parula IMG_0113_1

Northern Parula, first-year male

6 thoughts on “First-Year Migrants

  1. Lisa, I always enjoy reading your posts, about the birds that we don’t have down here. Where in northern Michigan are you headed. I am a former Michigander. 🙂

    • Thanks, Bob. You’ve got all those birds down there I never get to see! As for Michigan, I’m going as part of the 4 L’s with the Chicago Ornithological Society to the Grayling area – the target bird is Kirtland’s Warbler but there are many other species I’ll be happy to see. 🙂

  2. love the photos..and your blog..I have never seen a Parula not even heard about all have lots of birds that we don’t have in Colorado..Thanks for sharing..

    • Thanks so much, Syl. Ah, but in Colorado I know you get a lot of birds I never see. We do get all worked up about warbler migration because it only lasts a few weeks. And the birds will all look different when they come back through in the fall. It’s like a game to identify them…and they’re always winning!

  3. Michigan has been a favorite vacation destination of ours, including the UP, Beaver Island, and the area around Manistee. Love the bird pictures, these species are new to me.

    • Thanks for your comment. I’m excited about going to that part of Michigan, I haven’t been in that neck of the woods since I was on the road playing music, and I was totally oblivious to birds then, so it will be new and deja vu to me. As for the warblers, well, they never disappoint (except when I can’t take a picture maybe). I’m hoping to see a lot of warblers closer to or on their breeding grounds in Michigan. 🙂

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