The Birds, the birds!

This year in Central Texas, I’ve seen birds I’ve never seen here before. As always, Doves and Bluejays are in abundance, but seemingly more so than usual in my yard. I recently spotted an Eastern Starling, a common bird but not common in Austin. The state bird, the Southern Mockingbird, is everywhere I turn.

I have to assume the extreme drought once again covering the lower half of our huge state is driving birds northward that normally  might spend summers at the Gulf Coast.

I also have to question this: We had a drought this severe two years ago, and I didn’t see birds like this during that drought. Is it possible that the British Petroleum horrific oil spill in the Gulf Coast has tainted the marshes along the Gulf Shores of Texas? The Texas shore near Brownsville and South Padre island is known worldwide for its bird-watching, summer and winter both.

Whatever the reason, today I saw one I’ve never seen before. This sweetie was taking a bath in my waterfall, having a grand old time. He flew away and came back quickly with two more buddies, who delightfully enjoyed their spa stay, splashing and playing for a while.

I managed to snap these pics through my glass doors, so forgive any lack of sharpness. I was just happy to have had my camera nearby.

After much searching of Google images, I believe he is a Pine Warbler. He was pretty wet at this point, but this is the best shot of his backside and wing coloring.

I compared the Pine Warbler with the Yellow Warbler, and finally came up with Pine Warbler as the ID. I certainly could be wrong.

Does anyone out there recognize this species definitively?


8 thoughts on “The Birds, the birds!

  1. Looks like a cousin of one of our protected birds, the Golden Cheeked Warbler. Maybe a Prothonotary Warbler? It sure is pretty.I’ve never seen one of those, but I do enjoy many Gold Finches at our feeders and birdbaths. Interesting theory on the weather and the environment. Hard to tell how much damage we’re doing, isn’t it?

  2. Robin, I think you’re right about its being a Pine Warbler. You reminded me I need to check my bird book … I had a bird with similar coloring but it wore a little black mask. A LoneRanger Warbler, LOL?

  3. Diana, the Prothonotary Warbler doesn’t have the streaks like these guys do. That was a deciding factor for me.

    Cindy, thanks for the verification. And I’m likin’ the Long Ranger Warbler idea!

  4. These are Yellow Warblers, one of the most common migrating warblers in the Austin area this time of year. Since it’s a dry spring, many people are seeing birds they’re not used to seeing at their water features.

  5. I thought I saw something like this in my girlfriends backyard at Oxford and Dywer. I have also seen a bunch of little birds I’ve never seen before. Have been watching for over 30 years here. I need a good website to look up pictures and try and match them. Great photos by the way.

  6. Oh my gosh! Thanks for this! I’ve never seen one of these birds. You got great pictures. And kudos to you for providing a welcome mat for them. Don’t know if it’s drought or what, but I’ve still got goldfinches and typically I never have them this late. This is a significant post!

  7. I’ll admit I’m not much of a bird person: I must have seen the Hitchcock movie at a tender age or something. BUT, your bird is gorgeous! I might be reformed…

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