[Tweeters] Townsend's Warbler nectar feeding from mahonia?

EdSwan2 at Comcast.net EdSwan2 at Comcast.net
Mon Feb 1 22:32:49 PST 2021

Our neighbors have a large old mahonia bush with many yellow blossoms that
blooms for much of the winter. Anna's Hummingbirds fight to protect this
territory a lot and I was surprised to see a Townsend's Warbler able to
forage in the bush without being attacked several times recently. This
morning, I noticed that the female Townsend's appeared to be inserting its
beak into the flowers like it was accessing nectar as opposed to gleaning
for insects.

Is that a known foraging behavior for Townsend's? I have seen them drink
from a hummingbird feeder before but I have not seen them try nectar feeding
from plants. Cornell's Birds of the World doesn't really have that much
information on their diet. It does mention that they drink honeydew from
scale insects in Central America, which I thought was interesting.

It was a good warbler day with Townsend's, Orange-crowned and Yellow-rumped
(Audubon's) Warblers all getting suet from the suet feeder or hopping on the
ground to get suet bits dislodged by a flicker.

Ed in West Seattle

Ed Swan

Nature writer and guide

<http://www.theswancompany.com> www.theswancompany.com

<mailto:edswan2 at comcast.net> edswan2 at comcast.net


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