Thursday Bird Walk at Ashland

By Joe Sebastiani, Members Program Team Leader

The world is upside down…a Parula on the ground?!  That is exactly what we saw today on the Ashland Nature Center weekly bird walk.  Usually a bird of the canopy, or at least high enough to pull neck muscles looking at it, the Northern Parula pictured below dropped to the ground to forage right in front of us this morning.  It even sang from the ground!  The world is upside down indeed.  I called-in the bird using our trusty ipod, so everyone could get a good look at it.  Usually, only resident breeding birds react to the sound of one of their kind.  Since this Parula came right over, it was acting territorial and I bet it will breed here.  This is nice, since Parulas only breed in a few scattered locations in Delaware.

This Northern Parula, usually a warbler of the forest canopy dropped to the ground to feed and even sing.  Photo by Hank Davis.
This Northern Parula, usually a warbler of the forest canopy, dropped to the ground to feed and even sing right in front of us. Photo by Hank Davis.
The twelve walk participants were treated to other sights this morning as well.  A Baltimore Oriole was building a nest by the Ashland covered bridge.  Cedar Waxwings were everywhere.  Some were carrying nesting material around.  Others passed objects back and forth to each other with their bills.  A flyover Bald Eagle was seen briefly, but the color splash of Orchard Orioles, Eastern Bluebirds, and Yellow Warblers in good light was a perfect match for the pleasant weather.
This Willow Flycatcher sang its "Fitz-bew" song from a power line.  Photo by Ron Sinclair.
This Willow Flycatcher sang its "Fitz-bew" song from a power line. Photo by Ron Sinclair.
There are two Thursday bird walks at Ashland Nature Center remaining for the season…May 28 and June 4.  We meet at 8am in the Ashland Nature Center parking lot.   If you can’t make one of them, we will see you in September!  You can’t beat the price…it’s FREE.
Upcoming programs with the Delaware Nature Society: Birding Series various dates, Yoga at Ashland and Coverdale on various dates, King Ranch Grassland Birds – May 27, Bird Nest Biology at Bucktoe – May 27, Shorebird Migration and horseshoe Crabs on Delaware Bay – May 30, Living Architecture: Building with Plants – June 3, Ferns of Bucktoe Creek – June 6.  For more information and registration details, visit www.delawarenaturesociety.org.

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