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Florida’s Winter Warbler

Each winter yellow-rumped warblers flood into Florida to escape the wintry weather of northern U.S. and Canada. In Florida these warblers are ubiquitous; I almost always see them when I hike in the woodlands here.

If you look closely at the bird’s bill, you will see that it is pointed. This is indicative of insect-eating birds. Although its primary diet is bugs, it visits my bird feeders to eat seeds.

When I lived in New York, yellow-rumped warblers went no further south than Long Island’s seashores. These birds are well adapted at eating and digesting the waxy seeds of bayberry that is abundant in the interdunal swales of the seashore.

During the winter, these warblers have a subdued plumage that helps them blend in with the winter woodlands. As spring approaches, this plumage will turn into beautiful yellow markings and I hope they will come to the feeders once last time before returning north to their breeding grounds.

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