IT TAKES A VILLAGE of birders, in Hinesburg, to share and see the Hooded Warblers while they make history in Vermont!
Today Jenn Megyesi and I went to Geprags Park in Hinesburg in search of the breeding Hooded Warblers first discovered by Annemarie Granillo. We arrived at noon, undeterred by the hot sun and feasting deerflies. We were rewarded for our persistence and patience. Thank you, Jim Mead, for your description of where you located them last Friday...”they” were in the same area, up the slope and slightly east of where the birds had been nesting. We first checked out this area Jim described as we heard loud/bold/clear chipping notes from two birds. It resembled a call and response song and we believed we were on to them. In an area free of invasives and dense underbrush, where mature deciduous trees dominated with minimal understory, we spotted the adult male Hoodie. Within moments an American Redstart chase it away. Then we meandered around a bit, looking for the male back in the area where it had been seen so often since Enid Weinheimer pinpointed the birds’ home base (near signs and park boundary). Next we wandered up towards the high point of the park, where the windmill used to be and briefly heard more loud chips. So, we decided to head back to the original spot where we had seen the male. And once again, timing was everything. As we strolled along, we both noticed something moving ever-so-slightly in thick vegetation directly over our heads. A fledgling! It granted us good looks of its undertail, patterned in black and white and partially grown out, and its belly was light. We both commented on the fact that it was unlike any fledged warbler we’d ever seen before! Finally, Jenn saw the fledgling rub its bill on a thin branch as the adult male flew in with fast food! And, if this wasn’t enough, the bird topped it all off by singing a few stanzas from a perch nearby, leaving us wondering what more could we possibly ask for...
Life is good...Birding is great.