Since my study of Yellow Warblers involves a lot of patient waiting and watching in a specific pair’s territory, I get a lot of chances to do some great bird watching. This is easy on Kent Island, which is practically made of birds. Kent Island is home to some very long term studies, notably those on Leech’s Storm Petrels and Savannah Sparrows. Apparently there are up to 20,000 pairs of Storm Petrels on the island. Storm Petrels are pelagic birds which forage for days at a time on the open ocean. They can leave their nestlings in underground boroughs for a couple days because they bring back an extremely concentrated, nutritious oil mixture derived from the fish they eat. They feed this to their nestlings, which can sustain them while their parents forage. The Savannah Sparrows nest in the open fields of Kent Island, and past censuses have estimated well over 100 pairs on the island. Researchers from other schools come to study both systems every year and it is interesting to get new perspectives on both field research and the opportunities on the island.
This bird is a Common Yellowthroat, which frequents the same habitats as the Yellow Warblers. It is another species of warbler, but in its super sneaky hunting pose, it doesn’t necessarily look like it.