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Meet my friend Myrtle. Myrtle Warbler, that is – and yes, Myrtle is a “he,” not a “she.” Myrtle prefers to go by his other name, Yellow-rumped Warbler (Dendroica coronada). Don’t get him started about the whole “butter-butt” thing. 🙂
I have to admit, although I have seen many Yellow-rumped Warblers, I have never noticed a male in breeding plumage – which is strikingly different than the female. Since I’ve only been paying close attention to birds for a few years now, it is entirely possible that I simply didn’t realize these were the same species.
Pretty big difference, huh?
I was wondering how these spunky birds came to get the name Myrtle. I found a nice and informative article about Myrtle warblers at Smithsonian’s Migratory Bird Center. According to the authors of the article, these birds are named after the plant that produces berries that they love to eat – Wax Myrtle. Cool, I have a Wax Myrtle (Morella cerifera) – a favorite of Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) too. And because I can’t stop myself, I have to say that the Cedar Waxwing is not named after the Wax Myrtle, rather the “wax” part of their name is derived from the anatomy of some of their feathers. But I digress.
I don’t know exactly why I like this picture – I guess the yellow stripe on Myrtle’s head is just too cute. Also, the yellow, yellow-green, and green colors in this picture are pretty funky. 😉
Here’s an animated series of photos of Myrtle, as he watched for insects on the surface of the water:
These photos are moving all over the place – just imagine that it was done on purpose to portray that gritty, you’re-in-the-middle-of-the-action type of experience.
I’ll leave you with a copy of the page from my 100-year old field guide, which has lovely painted illustrations.