Masters of Aerial Agility: Meet the Swallow-tailed Kite – Acrobats of the Sky!

Breeding plumage is when they look their best with the male being a dark grey on the back with a yellow rump and dark brown crown.

A bird with a flame-orange throat that somehow seems to glow even in the worst kind of weather, rain, hail, sleet, or snow.

Meet the Blackburnian warbler

Photo Courtesy of Isaac Sanchez / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Blackburnian warbler (Setophaga fusca [formerly Dendroica fusca]), is a small New World warbler. They are about 11.5cm in length and weigh a mere 8.5 g. Breeding plumage is when they look their best, with the male being a dark grey on the back with a yellow rump and dark brown crown. There are double white wing bars on both wings and the throat is tinged with a striking yellow-orange blend streaked with black.

Photo Courtesy of Félix Uribe / CC BY-SA 2.0

Non-breeding males, females, and juveniles tend to look very similar, almost washed-out versions of the breeding male.

Though they do lack the distinctive head and throat pattern he has during the breeding season.

Photo Courtesy of ALAN SCHMIERER / Public domain

These birds breed in eastern North America and southern Canada, westwards to the southern Canadian Prairies, the Great Lakes region, into New England right through to North Carolina.

Photo Courtesy of William H. Majoros / CC BY-SA 3.0

Blackburnina Warblers like to dine mostly on insects found in treetops. During the wintertime, they have also been known to dine on berries.

Photo Courtesy of fishhawk / CC BY-SA 2.0

During the breeding season, these birds like to breed in coniferous woodlands or mixed wooded areas, often favoring spruce and hemlocks. A cup-shaped nest is built placed around 5 – 80 feet above the ground, usually on a horizontal branch. A clutch of around 4 – 5 eggs is laid within.

Photo Courtesy of Paul Hurtado / CC BY-SA 2.0

This species faces threats from many predators, both ground-dwelling and avian. However, by far the biggest threat Blackburinian Warblers face is the destruction of their forest habitat. Currently, though this species covers a large range, and their current population appears to be stable.

Photo Courtesy of zenbikescience / CC BY-SA 2.0

Watch and listen to this bird right here below: