It has been a busy week here at the Bubbler. Warblers continue to come in at different times of the day, particularly noon until dusk. There have been Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, Nashville, Tennessee, Black-throated Green and Bay-breasted Warblers. Here is a favorite from Thursday, 10/6/16 with two Bay-breasted Warblers and a Tennessee in the background.
Something about this Black-throated Green caught my eye as I took the photo. Can you see the tiny beads of water that seem to be inside the mouth of the bird?
As I magnified the photo, I could see that the water droplets were actually on the ends of the "rictal bristles". These are specialized feathers that are stiff, pin-like and help the bird sense or capture prey. They are spaced evenly at the base of the bill and similar to whiskers. They are a bit more obvious in birds like the American Redstart, but many birds that pursue insects have them.
Another Red-breasted Nuthatch came in yesterday to drink several times.
And today, our first Hermit Thrush of the season returned late in the afternoon.
Though numbers have dropped, we do still have ruby-throated hummingbirds coming in to fatten up on their way south.
To view all the photos since 10/4/16, begin here in the 2016 Birds gallery: