What a Bum

A Yellow-rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata, has finally arrived in my winter garden!

Most years I begin observing winter warblers in November. This migratory season, I’ve spied a zippy, hard-to-photograph Ruby-crowned Kinglet (a few times) and a female Orange-crowned Warbler, who is now making daily visits to the the peanut and suet feeders. But the Yellow-rumps have been tardy, or maybe just elusive.

This Yellow-rumped is a Myrtle Warbler, easily identified because of its white throat. During breeding and nesting season, Myrtle Warblers tend to spend time East and North, the Audubon species hangs out in the West. In winter, I’ve seen both species in my garden, but usually, it’s the Myrtle that is more common. I also think this one is a fella bird, given the little dab of yellow on his head. He isn’t yet in breeding colors, so perhaps he’s a hatch year dude, not quite out of his juvenile stage?

But he does rock that yellow rump. What a cute bum!

I’m glad to see the yellow rump flashing in the trees and hope that, instead of being a flash-in-the trees, he’s a daily visitor and that some of his butter-butt buddies will join him.

20 thoughts on “What a Bum

    • They are shy and this one is especially so. I’ve generally enjoyed several of these and the orange-crowned warblers during winter, with less frequent visits from kinglets. This seems to be a slow year, but at least they’re around and fattening up!

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  1. That second photo’s a gem. It reminds me of the famous “angry bluebird.” I’ve seen a few of these at the Brazoria refuge, and I think I may have spotted them at Lafitte’s Cove on Galveston Island, where they’re planted wax myrtles for the seeds. I should go down there and see who’s around.
    I noticed yesterday that the pines at a marina where I’m working are just beginning to drop their cones. Usually, they drop in early to mid-December. Maybe the migration’s a little later this year, too. I suppose birders who keep close account of such things know, but it’s interesting. The squirrels here still are gnawing off the seed balls from the cypress, too. Usually those are finished by the new year.


    • I love it when I get a bird with that ‘look’–so cute! They have a distinctive flying and flitting in the trees patterns, which is what caught my attention. The yellow-rumps are bigger than the orange-crowned and the kinglets.

      It’s definitely a different pattern this year and maybe that’s related to the very late cold weather we’ve had. It’s always concerning when there’s an obvious change, but each year is different and only long-term patterns suggest climate change or declines in population. That’s why I appreciate the work of Audubon and Cornell Lab–they’re so good!!


  2. Tina your yellow rump pippin into an adorable and precious little bird. The photos are wonderful, I love them. Hopefully you have many more migrant and local visitors living in your garden for you to enjoy with. Take care of yourselves, Bee Daddy and you. Happy week and bird watching. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.


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