Posted by: atowhee | January 31, 2023


Who could ask for anything more as January ends with cold weather, even the hellebore and snow drops looking forlorn.

The cold makes small birds more food-driven than ever. I stood less than two feet from a suet block, lifting some wet leaves bound for mulch–a Red-breasted Nuthatch landed on the feeder. To me he seemed to say, “Hah, you’re big and slow like those other trees.”

What is it about warblers?
From the Peterson Field Guide on Warblers (by Dunn & Garrett): “North American Warblers…have long captivated birders with their diversity, bright plumages, sprightly behavior, and spectacular migrations.”

The above post card comes from Magee Marsh, Ohio. Every spring there is a week-long warbler madness festival there. It’s in May and you must be on the boardwalk by dawn every day even though it comes way before ordinary breakfast time. Who arrived the night before? Consecutive days are rarely the same, bird-wise. Magnolia today, chestnut-sided tomorrow…

Sure the eastern forests have more warblers. But I wouldn’t trade our Townsend’s, hermit or MacGillivray’s for any of theirs…well, maybe the prothonotary once in awhile.



  1. Love those warblers! I’ve been to Ohio during the Biggest Week three times and walked the boardwalk. Amazing for sure.

    • Yes! We’ve had yellow rumped and our usual Townsend pair this winter in Salem.

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