Species Spotlight: Black-billed Cuckoo

Often heard, but difficult to find, the Black-billed Cuckoo specializes in eating caterpillars.  I fortunately stumbled onto this guy this spring.

IMG_3458

IMG_3543

IMG_3563

Species Spotlight: Golden-winged Warbler

Known for their tendency to hang upside down while foraging for prey, the Golden-winged Warblers are partial to early successional habitats.  Pressures from habitat changes and from the closely related Blue-winged Warbler have forced a downward shift in overall numbers of this species.

IMG_3239

IMG_3246

IMG_3271

A Few Spring Wood Warblers

Spring migration for the “land birds” is pretty much over.  As usual, I am not happy with the amount of photos I was able to get of these guys as they pass by.  But, I did enjoy every moment I got to spend trying.  Here are a few that I have gotten around to processing so far.  These were all caught at Monsanto’s World Headquarters, one of my favorite migration traps in the StL metropolitan area.

A large warbler, the Bay-breasted Warbler is a rather uncommon migrant.  The lighting was terrible in this scenario and caused a good deal of C.A. However, this was my first usable image of this species.IMG_3443

Lovers of the tree-tops, I find that Northern Parula are easily heard but more difficult to spot.  They can be found in large numbers across Missouri and do nest throughout the Ozarks.

IMG_2818

The oh so cute, Palm Warbler, or “Palmies” are one of the species I seemed to spot more often than normal this spring.  These guys are usually found on or near the ground on lower tree branches and bushes.

 IMG_2686

The Blackpoll Warbler’s migratory trek is one of the longest of all the songbirds.  These guys nest throughout the northern boreal forests and go as far as northern Alaska.  They winter in South America.

IMG_2714

 Finally, the bird pictured below is the Black and White Warbler.  More abundant and easier to spot, these birds behave much like the nuthatches – climbing up tree trunks and looking under limbs for their arthropod prey.

 IMG_3680