Thursday, February 1, 2018

Attracting Warblers to your yard

Warblers are small quick moving colorful birds that migrate through here in May/June and August/September feeding on insects and sometimes berries.

The only warbler that I have seen eat from the suet feeder is the Yellow-rumped Warbler and that only happened one spring so attracting them will take some planning.

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)
Tree's, shrubs and moving water is what works for many birds that aren't attracted to feeders, I never planned for attracting warblers, I didn't think there were that many around but after adding native shrubs and moving water they started showing up and now I look for ones  like the Wilson's Warbler where there is a three day window that they  come through the yard.

Wilson's Warbler (Cardellina pusilla)

My favorite shrub is the Black Twinberry (Lonicera involucrata), I plant them around the yard and right at the top of the waterfall and another one along side the waterfall, they give good protection, lots of flowers attracting pollinators and Orange-crowned warblers in the spring and quickly ripening berries in the summer. There is always activity in them. Other good shrubs and small tree's to have are and making them into a hedgerow is a good idea.

Red Elderberry
Ocean Spray
Mock Orange
Pacific Nine Bark
Sitka Mountain Ash
Fruit tree's, don't spray them with anything.
Red Flowering Currant
American Holly
Service Berry
Winter Honeysuckle

Orange Honeysuckle
Virginia Creeper
Chilean Glory Vine

This video show's what it's like when all the birds want to get to the water at the same time, the robin's some for the berries then bathe often treating the water like there own private spa but the others manage to squeeze in.

Running water is the other big attractant and will get Warbler's and other birds to stop moving long enough so you can get a good look and even take pictures.

I designed the water fall for small birds like hummingbirds and warblers but left some deeper spots for the woodpeckers and robin's. There is a three foot wide pool at the top that a carefully grade the pee gravel so it's about half inch deep of water into a deeper spot that is a couple of inches deep, the water comes up from the bottom as this is also a filter for the pond then run's down over the waterfall that has small streamlets and and rocks that are almost flat so the water is very shallow for the hummingbirds.

Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia) in the Black Twinberry
We enjoy the show while sitting on the deck but sometimes I like to take pictures so I have to get closer, I use a blind and the minimum focus distance of the my 400 2.8 is ten feet so I am shooting around twelve feet away, I will put on a extension tube to get closer or if the light is bright enough I will use the 1.7 teleconverter.

Orange-crowned Warbler (Oreothlypis celata)

I will place some perches for them to land on that has a good background but you don't have much time before there in the water getting we.

Black-throated Gray Warbler (Setophaga nigrescens)

My camera settings are usually around iso 400, f3.2 with a shutterspeed around 1/200s, with the teleconverter I shoot f5.1 so it's stopped down just a touch.

Townsend's Warbler (Setophaga townsendi)

They can put on a reall show especially the male yellow Warbler, they don't jsut come in once, it's more like a quick dip then preen some them back to the water then preen some more then back in, then gone.\

Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia

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