In the last few weeks, we’ve observed an influx of all types of warblers at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. Warblers are small insect-eating birds that, as the name implies, are also acclaimed vocalists. They have narrow, very pointy beaks, like tiny tweezers.
The warblers are passing through the site on their migratory route, which helps explain the sudden increase in abundance and diversity. Here are three of the species we’ve seen frequently, with details on how to identify them:
Yellow Warbler (above): Many types of warblers are yellow, but the yellow warbler is the yellowest. They look like little yellow light bulbs hopping around the grasses or flitting between tree branches.
Palm Warbler: Another mostly yellow warbler, this one is easily distinguished from other species by its red “hat,” which is very easy to spot this time of year. It has a striking yellow eyebrow and some dark brown streaks on its chest. The upper half of its body is more brown than that of the yellow warbler.
Yellow-Rumped Warbler: Not only is this bird yellow-rumped, it’s yellow-shouldered, and males are yellow-capped too! Once you know what to look for, you can’t mistake this bird for anything else.
Good luck finding these and other warblers at Nature Boardwalk! My advice is to look closely at the island, as that seems to be a popular hangout for warblers and other migratory birds.