On a sunny, warm day in May, Elena and I found ourselves in a forest in northwestern Pennsylvania. Off the beaten path, we were in prime habitat of Canada Warber, Black-throated Blue Warbler, and Blue-headed Vireo to name a few.
The trees were full of song as the songbirds are trying to attract a mate. We walked slowly and silently among the bird songs and I tried to identify them but I didn't know them all. However, through the soft boughs of a stand of Eastern Hemlock, I heard the buzzy call of a Black-throated Blue Warbler. The song of the male, loosely translated, sounds like a buzzy "please, please, please squeeeeze."
We crossed a small stream on our way to a clearing where a few old, decaying, tree trunks have fallen and were sunken into the green growth in this unusual sunny spot of the forest floor. That is where we found the source of our voice. Black-throated Blue Warblers are known to search leaves, twigs, and the underside of vegetation for spiders, flies, and caterpillars. I spotted our guy inspecting the tiny leaves of hemlocks.
Eventually, he jumped down into the lower, bushy growth and shared his time between the bushes and low hanging branches. I envisioned the photograph I wanted. If he would only jump on that log, I thought.
Elena stepped back into the shadows as I laid on the ground to have a low perspective, and waited. Eventually, he jumped onto the log. I missed focus! Dang-it! He was 15 feet above once again.
Patience paid off. The next time I was pre-focused on the log so it was easier to find him through the viewfinder. He jumped back and forth and finally settled on top of the perch I hoped for.
He didn't stay on top long as warblers aren't really known for staying in one place very long. He began to work his way back down the log providing photo opportunities along the way.
I was happy for the photos I got. As I stood to leave, he flew off the log and onto another broken branch. I took a few more shots and bid farewell.
In case you are not aware, the Black-throated Blue Warbler doesn't live in the north year round. During winter, they spend their time in the Caribbean.
It was so incredible to be allowed to share a moment of time in his life. A time when he didn't seem to mind the company.
Thank you for reading. I hope I was able to take you into the forest for a few minutes. It is an awesome place.