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

Paul Bannick paul.bannick at gmail.com
Tue Feb 2 07:11:47 PST 2021

yes, this is common with the winter blooming Mahonia Arthur Menzies

On Tue, Feb 2, 2021 at 7:09 AM Robert O'Brien <baro at pdx.edu> wrote:


> 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>

> wrote:


>> 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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