My Bird Blog: A blog about my birding discoveries, bird feeders, birds on my life lists, and all things bird related

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Painted Bunting and December Warblers in Oakville

Published December 19, 2014
Tags: Life List Happenings, Painting Bunting, Wilson's Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Winter Wren

 A Painted Bunting, most likely an escaped cage bird, is causing quite a stir up in Oakville, Ontario.  The chance for this life bird drew me northward and Celeste and I got the opportunity to see this handsome bunting.

It took two, long hours for the Painted Bunting to show up at one of the neighborhood feeders. It had been frequenting a couple of seed feeders along with many Northern Cardinals, American Goldfinches, House Sparrows, and other feeder birds. The homeowners and neighbors were more than generous, allowing us birders to tromp through their backyards and peer through their hedges to glean a look at the celebrity. One man even brought out coffee for everyone!

During our wait, a Cooper's Hawk swooped in and left in an erratic flight holding something in its talons. We all loudly gasped and there was quite the buzz of speculation that followed as to what his talons contained.  Concensus was it was an American Goldfinch. 

We were all relieved when the bunting finally showed up, proving he had survived.  He stayed and fed for several minutes, giving us time to digitally recreate him at least a million times onto the memory cards of our vast arsenal of cameras.

Satisfied, we left to seek the handful of warblers that were lingering at nearby Sedgewick Park. A water treatment plant was next door, providing heated water that kept the insects plentiful for the detained birds.

We quickly found two Orange-crowned Warblers, a Wilson's, a Nashville, a Yellow-rumped, and a beautiful, male, shivering, little Tennessee Warbler.  They were feeding on mosquitos and midges but I fear for their survival once the weather turns colder.

Along with the gorgeous warblers and other expected residents, we enjoyed sightings of a Winter Wren, Carolina Wren, a small flock of Redpolls, a Pine Sisking, a Ruby and a Golden-crowned Kinglet, and a Red-tailed Hawk watching over the park.

An Ontario Ornithological review committee will look at the photographs of the bunting, most likely finding it was an escaped caged bird. Observations in that favor are the bird's coloration (more orange overall as opposed to the bright red it normally has), a long claw, and a bill abnormality.  The jury is still out as to whether I can claim this as a life bird or not!
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First-year Male Painted Bunting
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Painted Bunting
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Painted Bunting
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Painted Bunting
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Tennessee Warbler
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Tennessee Warbler
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Wilson's Warbler
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Wilson's Warbler
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Orange-crowned Warbler
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Orange-crowned Warbler
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Orange-crowned Warbler
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Orange-crowned Warbler
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Nashville Warbler
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Nashville Warbler
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Yellow-rumped Warbler
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Winter Wren
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Winter Wren
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Winter Wren