A magical moment in our woodland

By Margy Terpstra

Prothonotary warbler, photo by Margy Terpstra

Click for a larger image

Wednesday, April 30, 2014, was a raw day, overcast and barely 55 degrees. The dawn chorus, however, was loud and clear. So, I was at my camera. Suddenly, a stunning bird with a bright yellow head and blue wings landed in a small American elm in our woodland. It took my breath away.

I had gotten quick looks at Prothonotary Warblers here before, but this beautiful male stayed, foraging in all the small trees at eye level. He worked his way over to our bubbler and investigated a curled leaf in a Blackhaw. He skillfully inserted his beak, pulled out a caterpillar and made quick work of his meal. I was so fortunate in that moment to record it. I also came to the realization that every effort we had made over the last 18 years had led to that moment.

Our woodland was once filled with invasive bush honeysuckle. Now beneath the oaks, it has layers of native rough-leaf dogwoods, chokeberry, gooseberry, spicebush, pawpaw, ferns, celandine poppies, wild ginger, Mayapple and Virginia bluebells. The birds, butterflies, and other creatures find sustenance. So do I.

Read the full story and see more photos on our blog.


Editor’s note: Read more about Margy, and her and Dan’s backyard.

5 thoughts on “A magical moment in our woodland

  1. I went to your blog and looked at your bird pictures. They are great.
    Kathy Bildner

    • Charlotte,
      It was certainly a wow moment for me. “If you build it, they will come!”
      Be sure and look at the others on my blog…

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