November 29, 2023 | Myrna Pearman, Chin Ridge Seeds (en-CA)
For several weeks this fall, a rare and beautiful bird enthralled birdwatchers from all over Alberta. The bird, a Yellow-throated Warbler, appeared in the backyard of a bird-feeding enthusiast east of Breton, Alberta on the afternoon of October 22, 2023. This was only the third record for the species in Alberta!
Except for two days, when it was not seen, it was active around the yard for several hours each morning and afternoon until November 15th. The landowner named him Warren. He has not been seen since.
As is the case for many rarities that show up in unusual places during fall migration, the presence of well-stocked bird feeding stations likely attracted Warren to this yard. Obviously of course—the species is usually found only in the southeastern U.S.—he thrived on sunflower chips, suet crumble, and dried mealworms. On warm days, he also hunted for flies and other small insects that were active on the south side of the house. He would also drink from a small heated bird bath and would sometimes groom himself among the shrubs after taking a bath in the shallow water that had collected in the eaves troughs.
We hope that Warren finally figured out that he was to head south and that he has made it safely to the species’ normal overwintering grounds. For the duration of his visit, however, Warren was appreciated by almost 90 observers. He added a great deal of interest and colour to an otherwise gray Central Alberta fall.
Myrna Pearman has posted a short YouTube video of Warren: https://www.youtube.com/@myrnapearman/videos