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

Robert O'Brien baro at pdx.edu
Tue Feb 2 07:39:42 PST 2021

Really? We have a row of these 6 feet tall or more 200 ft long in front of
our rural place . Now I haven't seen a winter warbler here in decades But
maybe that's good . Paul, do you mean that they get sappy material all over
their faces? Anna's hummingbirds practically live in these while they're in
bloom But I haven't seen any Deleterious effects . In this case it seems
likely they're going for nectar but I would guess insects as well . Bob
O'Brien Portland

On Tuesday, February 2, 2021, Paul Bannick <paul.bannick at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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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