110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Lynn Bowen
posted Jul 14, 2013 - 8:53:32am
I saw a yellow-rumped warbler gazing at a life-size photo of a hawk taped to a window while I was in Downtown DeLand recently. He flew close to the picture, then perched and looked at it for about four minutes. What thoughts must have been going on in the feathered cutie's mind? Surely he felt triumphant that the hawk did not attack him!
Birds cannot always instantly know a flower on a blouse from a real flower or a life-size bird photo in a window from the real thing. They have great instincts, but aren't geniuses. Similarly, children often are confused trying to tell animation movies from reality. Watching the news on TV often doesn't seem real, so it's difficult for some to know fact from fiction.
The yellow-rumped warbler is 5.5 inches tall, and is streaked brown above and buff below, with a yellow circle the size of a nickel on his rump. With a 9.25-inch wingspan and .43-ounce weight, he has a round head, a dark bill, and lovely dark eyes.
Yellow-rumped warblers live in scrub, swamps, hammocks, agricultural and urban environmental areas throughout North America and Mexico. Florida is one of their winter migration habitats.
Insects are the main part of their diet. They catch bugs while flying, and get insects from seaweed at beaches, from the surface of river water, from spider webs, and even off of manure. Seeds and berries supplement their diet when insects aren't plentiful. Since they aren't fussy eaters and are good fliers, no wonder they are not in danger of extinction.
This bird and all of nature's other beautiful creatures make life a little more joyful if we just take the time to be observant.
— Bowen lives in DeLand. Send email to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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