May 16, 2005 [LINK]

Magnolia warbler video

I was pleased to find that there are still a number of warblers passing through the area on my walk behind the Staunton-Augusta Rescue Squad this morning, but the arrival of the Blackpoll warblers signifies the fast-approaching end of migration season. I managed to get a semi-decent video clip of a Magnolia warbler nabbing a small caterpillar in the bushes. Yummy! Note the distinctive field marks: black mask, yellow throat and breast, black streaks on the side, white wing bars, and black-tipped tail. The trilling chirp in the background is a Tufted titmouse. (In Apple QuickTime format; free download.)

In addition, I heard some Black-throated green warblers up in the trees, but couldn't see any.

Ivory-Billed Woodpecker & Whitewater??

At the Augusta Bird Club picnic on Saturday, someone gave me a copy of a cartoon by Tom Toles in the May 3 Washington Post, about the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker that was recently rediscovered in Arkansas. The point was, nature-tourism-oriented development could end up destroying the nearly extinct bird's unique habitat. That is the ironic risk in all eco-tourism ventures, as folks in Costa Rica have learned. But then I started thinking, "land development in in Arkansas," that sounds familiar... Oh yes! Might there be a connection with the Whitewater real estate development scheme? I did a quick Google search and found that others have already jumped to that hasty conclusion: see