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

Robert O'Brien baro at pdx.edu
Tue Feb 2 07:08:07 PST 2021

Growing up in California where eucalyptus trees from Australia are widely
naturalized It is very Abundantly seen that yellow-rumped warblers love to
feed in eucalyptus flowers . As a result they get some sappy material all
over their face that then has other dirt and grime stick to it . They look
like a mess and it is sometimes fatal to them . I might say it's frequently
fatal to them . So in this case I'm not sure whether they were going for
some sort of nectar Or For insects attracted to the nectar . I would guess
the former because you would think they could pick the insects out Without
getting the sappy sugary material all over their face . I didn't try it but
I think Googling it would give a lot of information . About the eucalyptus
trees that is . Bob O'Brien Portland

On Tuesday, February 2, 2021, Dennis Paulson <dennispaulson at comcast.net>

> Ed, we have Townsend’s every winter coming to suet feeders. Quite a few

> times I have seen one land on a hummingbird feeder and apparently take some

> sugar water from along the edge where we had spilled it when filling the

> feeder. Yellow-rumped are also around all winter, but I haven’t seen one do

> that.


> Dennis Paulson

> Seattle


> On Feb 1, 2021, at 10:32 PM, <EdSwan2 at Comcast.net> <EdSwan2 at Comcast.net>

> wrote:


> 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

> www.theswancompany.com

> edswan2 at comcast.net

> 206.949.3545


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