[Tweeters] Palm Warblers like it hoppy

Dave Slager dave.slager at gmail.com
Wed Dec 11 10:46:30 PST 2013


Dan's post got me interested in these warblers' microhabitat, so I stopped
by again this morning and looked at the vegetation more closely. The vine
on the fence the bird is spending time in appears to be hops (*Humulus
lupulus*). Seems appropriate given Seattle's fetish for IPAs. As for the
small insects, I'm not sure what those were.

I wonder if it would be productive to check more protected nooks and
crannies around the shores of Lake Union for more urban-overwintering
passerines like this?

Good birding,
Dave Slager
Seattle, WA

On Tue, Dec 10, 2013 at 9:08 PM, <notcalm at comcast.net> wrote:

> Thanks, Dave and others for the reports on the Palm Warbler.


> I saw it feeding in the afternoon. As reported by several others, there


> also a very layed-back Townsend's Warbler feeding at the same location.

> Looked like a First Winter Female Townsend's.


> One of the interesting things about this bird's behavior is that it was

> gleaning very small, light colored insects, dead or alive from the leaves


> seen in my video frame grabs. The bugs may have been aphids, scale insects

> or the equivalent. Any Bug Expert out there?


> I later wondered if the recent freeze resulted in freeze-dried bugs on the

> ground and pavement. Which could have explained the interest in the

> pavement. I also wondered if a substantial bug die-off occurs during these

> periods of very low temperatures.


> I just looked at Cornell Ornithology- Birds of North America Online, which

> offered much useful Information including:


> "Feeds on honeydew secreted at the tip of threadlike anal tube of scale

> insects, commonly breaking tube (Greenberg et al. 1993).


> Diet


> Little information. Western spruce budworm (Tortricidae) important where

> present (Langelier and Garton 1986). Feeds on caterpillars, moths, winged

> insects, and other invertebrates commonly found on coniferous and


> foliage (Gabrielson and Lincoln 1959, SMM). In California Oct–Jan, 31

> specimens contained 95% animal matter (Beal 1907). Of these animal parts,

> 42% were true bugs (Hemiptera, mostly stinkbugs [Pentatomidae]), 25% bees

> and ants (Hymenoptera), 21% beetles (Coleoptera, mostly snout beetles, or

> weevils [Curculionidae]), 12% other insects or spiders. Vegetable foods:

> seeds and leaf galls. Honeydew of scale insects important locally on


> range (Greenberg et al. 1993). In winter, visits feeding stations where

> cheese, marshmallows, and peanut butter are offered (Bent 1953)."


> Cheese, marshmallows and peanut butter?


> Dan Reiff

> Mercer Island




> ________________________________

> From: "Dave Slager" <dave.slager at gmail.com>

> To: tweeters at uw.edu

> Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 9:38:48 AM

> Subject: [Tweeters] "Western" Palm Warbler(s) near UW-Seattle campus,

> King Co.


> Tweeters,


> There is at least one "Western" Palm Warbler actively foraging now in the

> low brush on the south side of the corner of NE Northlake Way and 7th Ave

> NE, just west of UW. This is at the bus stop just east of the Seattle


> Company. I had prolonged and point-blank views of this rather tame bird,

> but when I first got there I saw 1-2 other "Dendroica"-type warblers


> away from the same location, both with a lot of white in the tail. These

> birds flew towards the west, so it may be worth checking the green spaces

> beneath the I-5 bridge.


> The definitively-ID'd bird was foraging here: 47.654418,-122.320954


> The best part about this sighting was that I identified the bird from


> a King County Metro bus I was riding to UW. The bus stopped at the bus


> to let somebody on, and I could see the warbler foraging and tail-bobbing


> the fence just feet from my window. That's the quickest I've ever run

off a

> bus!


> Good birding,

> Dave Slager

> Seattle, WA


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> Tweeters at u.washington.edu

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