We were targeting Kentucky Warblers in Howell Woods, but a few other species seem to have missed that memo. Perhaps they wanted us to study their migratory routes, too.
The Eastern Towhee was our largest bycatch, a powerful handful of a bird. A female Ruby-throated Hummingbird was our smallest.
We also caught a female Indigo Bunting, only the barest hint of blue on her wrists to suggest the color for which her species is named.
The oddest bird we met, I submit, was the Swainson’s Warbler.
This is a warbler with almost no color or pattern, a strangely angular body, and a meadowlark’s strong bill pasted onto its face. Why?
A Hooded Warbler came along soon after to remind us what warblers usually look like.
I was prepared to be knocked out by the beauty of the Hooded Warbler—it’s impossible to miss that huge black eye in the sunshine face. I was not expecting to be bowled over by our last visitor, a familiar grey bird that packs an entirely new level of personality when seen up close: the Tufted Titmouse.