Pleased-pleased-pleased-to-meet-you. High pitched songs burst through the trees as we walk the still dewey trails. This week a lively group of adult learners are at Wolf Ridge for the Beginning Bird Banding course hosted on campus and offered through the Institute for Bird Populations. They rise early each morning to learn the practices of bird banding, and to enjoy the various avian friends found at Wolf Ridge. This morning several Chestnut-sided Warblers were banded, a process where the bird receives a tiny bracelet with a number imprinted on it. If the bird is found again, scientists can gain information about where the bird traveled and changes in its feathers, weight, and other characteristics over time.
Chestnut-sided warblers have an apt name- the adults of both sexes have a beautiful chestnut colored streak on their sides. Their song sounds like a very fast, high-pitched greeting saying pleased-pleased-pleased-to-meet-you, with the “meet” a higher note than the rest. They are mainly insectivores, munching on anything from caterpillars to spiders, moths, flies, and sometimes berries. Head out birding in shrubby, bushy, areas and who knows, you may just meet a Chestnut-sided Warbler!
Chestnut-sided Warbler information from: Lives of North American Birds by Kenn Kaufman