Warbler Wonder

They are all gone now.

They have flown to Canada.
To make more warblers.

The first wave of wonder comes in mid-April.
Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge is their favorite spot.

To rest and refuel before they head north to breed.

The first ones to arrive are the yellow-rumped warblers.

They remain a cheery presence throughout the spring invasion.
Which lasts until the end of May.

When I got to Mount Auburn at 7am on May 6, I knew it was going to be special.

First, I saw the Blackburnian.

With his breast on fire.

Then, the black-throated green warbler.

Which I had only seen for the first time last spring.

But I wasn’t prepared for what came next.

I had always wanted to see the black-throated blue.
Ever since I saw him in Audubon’s Birds Of America.

Which the Athenaeum has in its Special Collections Room.

Then suddenly, deep in a rhododendron bush, there he was.

I only saw him for a few seconds.
But I can tell you this –
I will forget my own name first.

The next wave of warbler wonder comes in the middle of May.
I call them the Yellow And Black Brigade.

The Canada.

The magnificent Magnolia.

The common yellowthroat.

(Nothing common about that little bandito!)

And Wilson’s warbler.

When I saw these two camera guys getting worked up into a frenzy, I knew it had to be something special.

Mr Wilson does that to people.

That leaves two other species in the Brigade.
The Kentucky warbler.

And the holy grail: The hooded warbler.

When I finally get to see that gentleman, I will definitely get out my bandanna!

It has been a wonderful year for the warblers.
And for their devoted fans.

They have now been replaced at Mount Auburn by lush trees.

And beautiful flowers.

But this I know –
The warblers will come back to Mount Auburn.

Every single spring.

My goal in life?
To welcome them back.

As long as I possibly can.