poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘Northern Parula

bird songs in the grey wood

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Today I sat on the back deck and listened to the birds. I can’t stay for long because our robin who has returned for year three gets upset with me. The photo below was taken in 2018, but taking a new photo just gets the robin very agitated.


So, here is the list for today:

mourning doves – hooo hooo

northern parkland last – whirrrrr-zip!

robin – cheer cheer cheery weee

ovenbird – t-cheer, t- cheer, t-cheer

hairy woodpecker – pit, pit, pit … this fellow has been beating on the metal flashing of our roof daily. This morning he began at 5:30. Just before sun-up. I took the photo below in 2017.

All the best to you,

staying home and

in my two household bubble.


Written by jane tims

May 20, 2020 at 7:00 am

morning birdcalls – Northern Parula

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After a hot day, a cool night. This morning, our windows are wide open and a Northern Parula is busy in our grey woods.


His distinctive call – ‘whirrrr-zip’ – has an upward lilt at the end. I can catch only a glimpse of him, certainly not long enough for a photograph.


The Northern Parula is a small warbler with a bright orangy-yellow upper breast. He builds his nests of Old Man’s Beard lichen (Usnea spp.) – there is lots of this lichen hanging from the trees in our grey woods, so of course he is here!  This is a watercolour I did of him last year.



Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

May 20, 2017 at 9:25 am

songs in the grey woods – northern parula

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A friend, a knowledgeable wetland biologist, has been helping me learn some new bird songs. Last week, I identified the song of the Northern Parula. This is a bird I have never seen, though I scan those tree tops with the binoculars until my arms ache. I have heard its song so many times and always wondered what it was. The song is a long whirrrrr, flowed by a short, upward flipWhirrrr -flip. Whirrrr- flip. This morning it was the first song of the morning bird chorus!


May 20, 2016 'Northern Parula' Jane Tims


It drives me crazy to hear him sing, be able to find the tree he is perched in, but not see him. My painting is how I think he must look, based on descriptions on the net.

The Parula is a blue-grey bird with a yellow throat, and a yellow and white breast. He has a white crescent above and below his eye and two white wing bars. A bright and beautiful bird! He has an association with a lichen I love, Usnea subfloridana, Old Man’s Beard. He uses the lichen to build his hanging nest.


Usnea subfloridana on the snow

Usnea subfloridana on the snow – usually found hanging in our maple, spruce and fir trees


Copyright 2016 Jane Tims


Written by jane tims

May 27, 2016 at 7:00 am

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