or better known as the Northern Parula are some of the early migrating Wood Warblers that arrive in the Ohio Valley in early Spring. With their high pitched trill with that distinct “hic-cup” at the end, these warblers are our tree top feeders. Normally just hearing them, we’ll have to crane our necks to get decent views as they search for food in the uppermost foliage. But every once in a while they come down to earth an provide some excellent photo-ops.
Such was the case this last friday as I drove the few miles to one of Hamilton County’s smaller parks, Lake Isabella. With it’s 28 acre lake, fishing is the main attraction for this park. Bordering the Little Miami River it also offers the normal playground equipment with plenty of shaded picnic areas for families. Living within close proximity, I do frequent this park but normally for water fowl during fall and winter months. But I’m here today because of rumors floating around about a Northern Parula that’s been putting on quite a show.
Since the park borders the Little Miami River it has canoe access area with an adjacent parking lot. Well this particular Northern Parula doesn’t seem to like competition from other Northern Parulas, especially reflections of other Northern Parulas in car rear view mirrors.
I think we’ve all seen birds attacking it’s own reflection before, however I’ve not seen any warbler species do this. Here it is perched on top of the side mirror of a mini-van after pecking at itself in the mirror.
Yes, images do appear larger in this mirror.
Needless to say I did get some splendid shots as I tried to get the best angle with the setting sun. The Parula seemed oblivious to people as it kept returning to the same mirror.
Sometimes it would land in a nearby bush to offer a more natural setting.
Or it would land on the car antenna.
In a way I felt sorry of the bird. It was a very territorial bird, and this reflection was really bothering the bird. Now if there were no cars in the area everything would be normal, but being a pretty popular park I feel that this might be an issue all spring. So if I do return I’m just going to have to park a little further away an walk to the area.
You just have to love these Wood Warblers.
I’ve finally learned to recognize this bird by it buzz call. Your photos are outstanding and sharp. Thanks for sharing.
What a great story!
Experienced the same thing this morning at Lake Isabella but I had not read your blog about this until this afternoon. It was quite the experience for me as well. Love reading your blog.
Feisty little one.