I couldn't have been more surprised at 3 pm this afternoon to have a
close encounter with a male Cape May Warbler at Kilowatt South Park in
Wilder. The bird was foraging with two chickadees in
honeysuckle-dominated thickets. I observed it for 3-4 minutes at
distances of 2-3 meters. Its distinctive facial pattern, prominent
black streaking on yellowish breast and sides, and single bold white
wingbar made for an unamibiguous identification. The bird was
completely unconcerned about me, even coming close to investigate a
couple of times.
Although most Cape May Warblers are in the West Indies now, the species
is known to linger in northern temperate areas more frequently than most
other long-distance migrant warblers. Some will remember the bird that
was present at a Rutland feeder through November and December of 2005,
and eBird records show a bird reported by multiple observers in Essex,
NY on December 7, 2013.
Thirty minutes later, at Lake Pinneo in Quechee were 135 Hooded and 45
Common mergansers, a Great Blue Heron, and the Herring Gull that has
been present there for some time.
Vermont Center for Ecostudies
P.O. Box 420
Norwich, VT 05055
802-649-1431 ext. 1