Tag Archives: Yellow Warbler

Nature Notes: May 7, 2020

This blog post complements our weekly virtual lecture called Nature Notes for the residents of Orchard Cove. To learn more about our weekly virtual illustrated lecture series called nature notes, click here.

Support our Bird-A-Thon and Support Our Work at the Museum

Bird-a-Thon is an annual state-wide fundraising and birding event for Mass Audubon that began in 1983. Each spring birders from all over the state raise money to protect the nature of Massachusetts and count as many bird species as they can during a 24-hour period in mid-May. During this challenging time, all the money raised will go directly to supporting our work at the Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon.

Check out Sean Kent’s Bird-A-Thon Page.

Check out Milly the Raccoon’s Bird-A-Thon Page and Blog.

Learn more about Bird Migration

Bird migration is in full swing and many new migrants have been arriving over the past week.

Yellow Warbler photographed on May 3, 2020 in Easton, Massachusetts

Migration Forecasting from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Click here to see amazing migration maps and forecasts at BirdCast
Click here to see the bird migration forecast for May 2020

Study of a Prairie Warbler by Barry Van Dusen

Weather Radar showing Bird Migration over the Florida Keys from February 17, 2020

The Yellow and Green hues represent bird migration being picked up on weather radar.

Annual nocturnal migration patterns from 1995 to 2018

Annual nocturnal migration phenology measured by weather surveillance radar from 1995 to 2018. Measures show the aggregate behavior of hundreds of species.

Click here to see these incredible resources at Colorado State University’s AeroEco Lab that studies Bird Migration, Light Pollution, and more.

SUPPORT OUR WORK and Donate to the Museum of American Bird Art

Hi everybody, each week I (Sean Kent – MABA’s education and camp director) deliver a live online illustrated lecture called Nature Notes for the residents of Orchard Cove in Canton. I love nature and am infinitely curious with what is going on natural world. I am an educator, naturalist, accomplished landscape and wildlife photographer, and field biologist with expertise in native bee biology, species interactions, and ecology in general.

This post contains additional resources that correspond with the lecture, but might also be of interest to readers of Taking Flight in addition to the residents of Orchard Cove. Please contact me ([email protected]) if you or your organization/residence might be interested in live online illustrated lectures, including lectures on The Secret Life of Backyard Birds and Native Bees and other Pollinators. Be well and safe.

Selected Artwork for Taking Flight 2018: Our Juried Youth Bird Art Exhibition (Part 1)

We are extremely excited to display a selection of art from our third annual juried youth bird art exhibition. All artwork will appear in this series of posts. This annual exhibition is open to any children and young adults age 4 to 18 years old. All selected entries will be on display at the Museum of American Bird Art from November 10, 2018 to March 30, 2019. Entries for our fourth annual exhibition will open in January 2019 and close in June 2019.

Come see the works on display at the Museum of American Bird Art by appointment or during 3 open houses

January 26, 2019 from 12 to 2 pm

February 23, 2019 from 12 to 2 pm

March 23, 2019 from 12 to 2 pm

Hummingbird, Alyssa Courchesne, Age 11

For art class, we were asked to choose a photograph of a bird and create a John James Audubon inspired oil pastel bird drawing. As my bird I chose the hummingbird. I chose the hummingbird because to me it symbolizes peace, happiness, and grace. The hummingbird represents peace to me because it brings back memories when I sat on my Memere’s lap and looked out as the glistening lake. I can remember looking out at the lake and seeing the birds just barely touching the water with the tips of their wings. The hummingbird represents grace to me because I am a dancer. When I look at these birds gracefully flying through the air I remember dancing on stage to the song “Stand by Me.” The hummingbird represents happiness to me because of all the bright colors. The bright colors shown on these birds remind me of spring. All of the reasons above are why I chose a hummingbird for this project.

Peafowl,Evan Whang, Age 4

Evan has been fascinated with birds from a very young age and loves to draw birds of all types. He loves birds that display bright colors, such as the fan of the male peacock. He hopes to see a peacock up close one day!

Secretary Bird, Noah Chan, Age 8

I drew the Secretary Bird because it is a really big bird with crazy feathers! I like how its beak is red and yellow it looks like a red heart. The bird looks super cool in flight. It has super power like eating a snake in one bite! I made this picture cartoonish to capture the bird crazy features!

Electric Ostrich, Brac Buffa, Age 10

The ostrich is a unique bird. It’s height, size, running speed, and attitude make it a strong competitor in the wild. I love the way an ostrich can look with such curiosity and character.

Yellow Warbler, Kaia Couture, Age 11

The meaning behind my artwork is about my favorite color. My favorite color is yellow and I would always draw yellow birds when I was younger. My bird is called the Yellow Warbler. I got the idea to draw this bird from an old book I found in my basement. My favorite bird is the Flamingo, but a flamingo isn’t yellow like my favorite color. I also looked at more pictures to get an idea of what I wanted to draw, then I drew it! After that I colored it and signed it. That is how and why I chose the bird I did.

Nature in a minute: Highlights from Bird-a-thon

Songs from the Thicket

May 20, 2016

Nahant Thicket Wildlife Sanctuary, Nahant

Boston at Dawn from Nahant - at 72 dpi

The sun is just rising out of the sea and lighting up the tops of Boston’s skyscrapers as I drive over the causeway to Nahant.  It is 5 am.

Nahant Thicket is the smallest of the Mass Audubon sanctuaries at only 4 acres.  A walk down the sanctuary trail is over before it begins, so I poke along slowly, looking and listening.

Wilson's Warbler sketchbook page dropout- at 72 dpi

Wilson’s warbler sketchbook page, pencil and watercolor, 9″ x 12″

A Wilson’s warbler sings from a willow.  I recognize the song from that little trill at the end that drops in pitch.  I haven’t sketched a Wilson’s in a long while, so I spend some quality time with the bird, following it as it moves from tree to tree. The little black cap on top of its head seems to puff up slightly (my wife thinks it looks like a yarmulke!)

Wilson's Warbler - at 72 dpi

Wilson’s Warbler, watercolor on Fluid 100 coldpress, 9″ x 12″

The thicket is bisected by a ditch or channel of fresh water, and I pause on the wooden bridge to watch a thrush bathing along the water’s edge.

The Ditch at Nahant - at 72 dpi

A northern waterthrush sings nearby, and from deeper in the undergrowth a bird delivers bursts of a rapid staccato song.  A year ago I heard that same song along the Waterthrush Trail at High Ledges Wildlife Sanctuary in Shelburne.  It’s a Canada warbler, which fills another page in my sketchbook…

Canada Warbler sketches - at 72 dpi

Canada Warbler sketches, pencil, 6″ x 11″

The same species of warblers that were abundant at Marblehead Neck yesterday are numerous again today at Nahant Thicket: redstarts, northern parulas, magnolias and black-and-whites.   But I add some new species, too, including a yellow warbler and a black-throated blue.

Blk-Wht Warbler and Shelf Fungus - at 72 dpi

Sketchbook study, pencil, 8″ x 5″

N Parula in Oaks 2 - at 72 dpi

Northern Parula in Oaks, watercolor on Winsor & Newton cold-press, 9″ x 10.5″

By 9:30 am the neighborhood is waking up and along with it come the myriad sounds of humanity: lawn mowers, a garbage truck making the rounds, leaf blowers, and the general banging and slamming that seems a constant daytime sound in any busy neighborhood.   It’s time for me to migrate home…

A Nest of Possibilities

This is from a series of posts by MABA resident artist Barry Van Dusen

Ashumet Holly Wildlife Sanctuary, Falmouth  on May 26, 2015 (part 1)

Drawing birds, as opposed to “birding” or photographing them, entails observing and studying individual birds for relatively long periods of time. Perhaps because of this, I often find bird nests during my fieldwork. I’ll notice that a bird I’m observing is hanging around one particular spot, or I’ll see a bird carrying nest material – both clues that a nest is close-by. Today, at Ashumet Holly Wildlife Sanctuary, I found the nests of a yellow warbler, a northern oriole and an orchard oriole!

Yellow Warbler studies, Ashumet - at 72 dpi

sketchbook page, 9″ x 12″

The nest of the yellow warbler is well hidden in a honeysuckle vine growing up a locust tree. The nest is about 25 feet up, and I can focus on it with my telescope by backing up along the trail.

Yellow Warbler and Nest, Ashumet - at 72 dpi

Yellow Warbler at Nest, watercolor on Fabriano soft-press, 9″ x11″

The female is never far away, and returns frequently but I never see her actually enter the nest. She may not have eggs yet, or may not want to enter the nest with me nearby. I draw as quickly as possible, and then move away.