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 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.