If seeing beautiful migratory birds during spring migration is the ice cream sundae of birdwatching, then hearing and observing warblers is the cherry on top.
Warblers create an unlimited combination of melodies sounding different to each person.
Please, please, pleased to meetcha (Chestnut-sided Warbler).
Wheezy, wheezy, wheezy (Black-and-white Warbler).
Buzz, chirp (Magnolia Warbler).
Sweet, sweet, sweet, I’m so sweet (Yellow Warbler).
Buzzy beeee-buzz (Blue-winged Warbler).
Ticka, ticka, ticka, swit, swit, chew-chew-chew-chew (Tennesse Warbler).
Witchity-witchity-witchity-witch (Common Yellowthroat).
Some warbler calls simply can’t be described because their songs sound like high-pitched insects buzzing.
But what’s not to love about a bird that lives up to its name.
Warblers are Dangerous for Your Health
These songbirds are so small and light, weighing just half an ounce, but they carry the weight of happiness on their backs as one of the first signs of spring. They are the tiniest songsters among our most beautiful migratory birds, so we typically hear them before seeing them.
Getting a good look at these little energetic birds to confirm their identity leads us to contort in uncomfortable positions for a glance, so birdwatchers joke about watching these beautiful songbirds leads to a condition known as warbler neck.
The naturist John Burroughs perfectly describes trying to watch warblers in the woods. “I watch and watch till my head grows dizzy and my neck is in danger of permanent displacement, and still do not get a good view.”
“Try” is a word that best describes our attempts at watching them, so instead, we bird by ear and enjoy their beautiful songs and calls.
Warblers are everywhere during spring migration. You can find warblers in swaths of forests. Hungry Warblers might stop over on an isolated patch of trees. Others might drop by city parks. The key is listening since spotting them can be challenging. Follow the song, and you’ll find the warbler.
We were greeted with a symphony of birdsong during a recent birdwatching hike through Deer Pond Farm Sanctuary. It was challenging to identify each song, but with the help of our Merlin Bird ID app, we identified more birds by ear than we saw.
Deer Pond Farm is a picturesque slice of heaven in Sherman, Connecticut, spanning 835 acres gifted to the Connecticut Audubon by the late Kathy and Walter Wriston. It’s a birding hot spot and an incredible place to see warblers and other beautiful birds during spring migration.
Our mission was to see the Chestnut-sided Warbler evading us over the past few years. Once again, we don’t have a verified sighting, but we did hear the bird near the Quail Trail near the wetlands on the preserve.
You can say Deer Pond Farm is warbler heaven.
Two Hours in Warbler Heaven
We saw or heard 16 warblers during this two-hour trip, including,
- Hooded Warbler
- Blackburnian Warbler
- Yellow Warbler
- Canada Warbler
- Blue-winged Warbler
- Magnolia Warbler
- Chestnut-sided Warbler
- Yellow-rumped Warbler
- Tennesse Warbler
- Black-throated Blue Warbler
- Prairie Warbler
- Pine Warbler
- Northern Parula (a warbler not named a warbler)
- Common Yellowthroat (a warbler not named a warbler)
- Cape May Warbler
- Bay-breasted Warbler
If you want to make the most out of a day hike birdwatching, we highly recommend Deer Pond Farm.
Once you set out to see these beautiful, tiny songbirds, you’ll become obsessed with them.
Living on the east coast, warblers are our reward for enduring an often long and harsh colorless winter. The gift of warblers arriving sporting bright plumage colors and singing melodic songs during spring migration is priceless.
So grab a pair of binoculars, install the Merlin Bird ID app on your phone, and head out and enjoy seeing warblers. Be sure to report back to us what you see.
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