By March, don't your eyes crave yellow? The American Goldfinches in pre-alternate molt at my feeders show more yellow every day, which is great, but what we really need are WARBLERS! Decent movements of Pine Warblers have already occurred in Cape May and more can be found singing at breeding sites every day. We can hope for the first Yellow Warbler shortly after tax day.
In the meantime, they say Americans should travel more. I agree, and not just for birds, but they do make a fine excuse. So off to Belize we went.
We wound up recording 24 North American warblers among close to 300 bird species during our Belize trip a week ago. Ours was certainly not an exhaustive tour, but some of us talked about returning with backpacks to explore where birders seldom go, visions of Harpy Eagles in our heads. Sounds like heaven.
Belize is a quite small country on the Caribbean, with the Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula to the north, from which launch many trans-gulf migrants bound for the shores of Texas and Louisiana; Guatemala to the west, and Honduras to the south.
Not counting the locally breeding Grace's Warblers and Gray-crowned Yellowthroats, here are the warblers we encountered: Blue-winged Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Northern Parula, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Palm Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Prothonotary Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Louisiana Waterthrush, Kentucky Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Hooded Warbler, Wilson's Warbler and Yellow-breasted Chat.
In six weeks that list or one like it will be attainable in the mid-Atlantic - can't wait!
Belize really helped me dial in on one of Magnolia Warbler's calls, an inflected, nasal nieerf that they seemed to use as the primary wintering call.I've heard it stateside, and I bet now that I know it well I'll hear it more.