As you may have guessed from my recent posts, I’ve been spending a lot of time lately birding in my own backyard. It’s quite addicting. You get to know the birds really well by just sitting and watching them.
A week or so ago, a pair of migrant Blue-gray Gnatcatchers flew in and stayed for a couple of days. I could tell they were migrants because of their song – it was similar, and yet totally different, than any other Floridian gnatcatcher song I’ve heard.
This guy did most of the singing. Look at that dark bar over his eye! He’s in full breeding plumage, and I bet his song was intended to impress the lady that was traveling with him…
She wasn’t sporting the eye bar, she didn’t sing (although she chipped a lot), but she sure enjoyed the cape honeysuckle.
Blue-gray Gnatcatchers are very quick, animated little birds. They rarely sit still for long. They spent most of their time in the bushes behind me, but they did me the favor of posing in front of me a few times. Then they moved on in their migratory travels. Safe flights little guys!
If you are interested in following the bird migration, there’s a great website you can watch from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Birdcast. It features weekly predictions of migratory movements, especially useful if you are trying to plan a trip to Fort De Soto, Mead Gardens, or another migrant trap. The Birdcast website also analyzes the past week’s migratory activity. It’s pretty interesting. Check it out!