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Wild About Warblers
By Kyle Carlsen
Assistant Editor | Bird Watcher's Digest
Regardless of skill level or experience, most birders get excited about spring warblers. As these mostly small, mostly colorful songbirds make their way back from their southern wintering grounds, they present an irresistible scavenger hunt that ranks high among the annual highlights of North American birding. Warblers can show up just about anywhere during April and May, including your own backyard. Some species nest in the United States, while others breed farther north into Canada. Some are migrating from the southern United States, while others are returning from the tropics. In any case, warblers are a fun group of birds, and we're excited to dedicate this quiz to them. How much do you know about warblers?
How many warbler species nest in North America?
Where does the rare and endangered Kirtland's warbler spend the winter?
a) Costa Rica
Which of these warblers is commonly found in both eastern and western North America?
a) Hooded warbler
b) Prairie warbler
c) Townsend's warbler
d) Common yellowthroat
What is the smallest warbler in North America?
a) Palm warbler
b) Lucy's warbler
c) Blue-winged warbler
d) Northern waterthrush
Which of these warblers sometimes uses nest boxes?
a) Hooded warbler
b) Prothonotary warbler
c) Black-throated green warbler
d) All of the above
What warbler has the ability to digest waxy berries?
a) Yellow-rumped warbler
b) American redstart
c) Black-throated gray warbler
d) Wilson's warbler
Which of these warblers are you least likely to find close to the ground?
a) Cerulean warbler
b) Swainson's warbler
c) Palm warbler
What warbler appears on the cover of the May/June 2017 issue of Bird Watcher's Digest?
a) Cape May warbler
b) Black-throated green warbler
c) Kentucky warbler
d) Magnolia warbler
Christine Goff, the award-winning author of international thrillers as well as the Birdwatcher's Mystery series, is back with a new, original, bird-themed mystery exclusively for the readers of BirdWire! Last fall, Goff's "Murmurations" appeared as a serial in BirdWire and kept readers on the edge of their seats for seven issues. Let's do it again! Upon publication in BirdWire, each installment of "Death of a Flycatcher" will be posted at birdwatchersdigest.com/DeathOfAFlycatcher.
For more information on Goff and her novels, visit christinegoff.com. And without further ado, we are pleased to present...
hab·i·tat (/'habi,tat/) noun 1. the natural home or environment of an animal, plant, or other organism. 2. the place in which a person or group is usually found.
Angela Dimato was out of her element. It had nothing to do with rafting 51 miles in the Dolores River Basin. Up until this moment, she had been looking forward to the trip. What threw off her equilibrium were all the people milling around the launch site at the entrance to Slickrock Canyon.
When Wayne Canon, the special agent in charge of law enforcement for U.S. Fish & Wildlife Region 6, assigned her to accompany the Tamarisk Removal Project workers on a raft trip down the Dolores, he'd made it sound like a cakewalk. "Early June, with the runoff. The rafting should be great. All you have to do is ensure no one clearing tamarisk damages any southwestern willow flycatcher nests," he said.
"What's the catch?"
"There is none." He gestured dismissively. "You'll only have a few people to deal with."
"What's a few?" she asked.
"A raft full. Maybe six or seven."
Angela had to admit, spending two weeks on the river sounded like fun—camping out under the stars, a little manual labor and very little law enforcement—because, as far as she knew, no southwestern willow flycatchers were known to nest along the Dolores. There was only hope that the small bird might make a foray.