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A male redstart warbler sings to define his territory.
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Canada warbler with feathered necklace.
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Blackburnian warbler.
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Chestnut sided warbler.
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Chestnut sided warbler singing on Mount Greylock.
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Parula Warbler like most warblers overwinters in neotropical forests.
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Singing black-throated blue warbler relies on butterfly and moth larvae.
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Hooded Warbler will feed on larvae as one of many warbler species comprising a feeding flock.
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Male redstart can initiate ritualized dance to attract female.
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Female redstart is paler and camouflaged on the nest.
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Blackburnian warbler.
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Warbler Waves Migrating Through Berkshires

By Tor HanseniBerkshires columnist
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Yellow warblers nest along the Hoosic River and depend upon abundant insects.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Despite the cool spring weather, waves of warblers and songbirds are reaching their familiar feeding grounds, in the deciduous woodlands and sylvan edges, like the banks of the Hoosic River in North Adams. 
 
Able songster species like yellow warblers and redstarts are once again filling available niches alongside the Hoosic River where shrubs and taller trees create thickets that offer protection for nesting birds. Linger a while to observe the prenuptial dance of male and female restarts that perform a spreading of wings and fanned out tale feathers in a ritualized endearing dance prior to mating.
 
I wish to share a concern that can arise when mankind urbanizes our countryside. Well
defined in Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring," pesticides wreck havoc on resident food resources let alone harming animals that consume toxic elements. Habitat alteration and weed controls diminish native species that do belong in habitat! 
 
Warblers and all birds require resident insects and spiders that supply organic proteins for the well-rounded diet for hungry chicks, insects we hope are not in short supply. These feathered songsters consume large amounts of noxious and noisome insects, reducing significant numbers that could otherwise become an overrunning plethora. With a late cold spring, we trust the myriad caterpillars, largely moths, to become numerous enough to suffice their enormous appetites. 
 
Watch a warbler or indigo bunting dash out on the wing to snatch a mosquito or grasshopper!
 
Warblers here in New England for millennia have returned to feed and nest in the Berkshires. They have withstood the staggering cutting of the forests to supply the firewood for heat energy needed to power the iron forges. The Northeast is host to more than 23 species know as wood warblers in the family Parulidae. Take a leisurely walk along the Hoosic River just south of the Goodwill Store on State Street and enjoy the singing birds often plain as day voicing pleasure at raising a family or defining territory, from where they get the generic name. 
 
Their songs connote a vibration of repeated sounds from the syrinx (analogous to a human larynx that contains vocal chords) called a "warble." Sparrow hawks and other falcons may take a warbler as prey although they too are selective in not hunting too many warblers; it is nature's way to keep a better balance of all food chain organisms.
 
Find the trails that punctuate the slopes of coniferous and deciduous woodlands that characterize Mount Greylock, in particular Reservoir Road and a handy service road serving the descending overflowing brook, and discover what warblers add to the potpourri. 
 
Where the babbling brook languishes into quiet water, look under the overhanging brush to see a reclusive Louisiana water thrush (today classified with true wood warblers) that looks more like thrush than a typical warbler. They show a vivid eyebrow and speckled breast. Finding their nest requires eagle eyes to detect a mossy camouflaged cup stream side. But it is better not to penetrate the thorny thickets and intrepid foliage surrounding fast running brooks. Up in the clearstory, or gallery woodland, look for a wave containing at least four mingling species: myrtle or yellow-rumped, chestnut-sided, black-throated blue, blackburnian, and perhaps Cape May warblers.
 
If there is such a traditional pattern or order of expected proceeding warblers, by now the first wave has already passed through, namely palm, black & white (something like a jailbird), and myrtles. This trilogy is certainly known in New jersey and cape cod. hope in successive days, before the trees entirely leaf out, to see parulas, black-throated greens, Nashville, worm-eating, and Canadas with their jeweled necklace feathers. Each adds their own distinctive cascading song to the medleys in passing feeding flocks. 
 
Oh yes, examine the tree trunks immersed in swampy water pond edges for a big event — a sighting of a male Prothonotary warbler with stunning yellow head ... not here so much and more southerly in range.
 
Thus we glimpse today evolution still in active progress; that is the orderly progression of definable species comprising a feeding flock is often more amalgamated or mixed with no predictable order of arrivals. The list goes on. Find out why certain species are not likely seen here in all these Western Mass mountains and valleys like: Wilson's, mourning, and hooded, somehow not likely or less widely distributed. Speaking of the dazzling male hooded, talk to fellow birders who like the three Musketeers, are all for one, and one for all as to data gathering. 
 
Changing populations, and finding hybridized species like back-crossed Brewsters and Lawrences warblers, may be directly linked to flora that produce a considerable volume of choice tasty caterpillars, like the abundant pond willows that thrive in sandy soils.
 
Sharing brings good results: One May Day in Beech Forest in Provincetown, I met a lady watching magnolias in the willows around the parking lot, and she alerted me to find a solitary hooded warbler in a certain old red maple tree near the boardwalk. Sure enough this astonishing hooded provided this photo and lingered long enough to possibly link up with other fellow hooded en route to northerly climes. 
 
Consult established expert birders for what species can be expected to flit and feed through the Berkshires, on their way north to find uninterrupted menus to procreate the next generation. And in our persistent search hopefully we find that definitely blue cerulean warbler!
 
Tor Hansen is a naturalist writer, photographer, and musician, in North County.

 


Tags: birds,   wildlife,   

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North Adams Happenings: Oct. 23-29

SAVE THE DATE
NOVEMBER 2nd - Masquerade at Greylock WORKS
On November 2nd, three weeks before FESTIVE, come to gWorks to dance in disguise at our MASQUERADE Halloween costume party! Doors open at 8pm !
Celebrate your costume ingenuity with DJ BFG spinning seamless upbeat dance music within immersive theatrical lighting choreographed by LJ McZawa.
Whether you're coming out in a dramatic mask + your favorite party clothes or a full-body transformation, our local friends are joining in on the fun to motivate your creativity with Costume Themes and PRIZES.
https://www.facebook.com/events/406993753316580/
Wednesday 10/23
9:00 A.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Open Hours UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Terrific Tots Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.  


10:30 A.M. (FREE), PARENTING, Parenting Workshop: Surviving your Adolescents nbCC Conference Room, 61 Main Street, Room 213, (413) 663-7588 More information.  


11:30 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Little Wonders Baby Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information. 

4:00 P.M. (FREE), FAMILY, Family Literacy Night Series The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.  


6:00 P.M. (FREE), WORKSHOP, Educator Open House North Adams Public Library, 64 Church Street, More information.

8:00 P.M. (FREE), GAMES, Trivia Night! Ramunto's, 67 Main Street, (413) 398-5152 More information.

Thursday 10/24
9:00 A.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Open Hours UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), PARENTING, Kids Safety of America: Child Abuse and Neglect nbCC’s Conference Room, 61 Main Street, Room 213 More information.

4:00 P.M. (FREE), TUTORING, After School Program UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

4:30 P.M. (FREE), CONVERSATION, Spaghetti Supper with Tom Bernard North Adams American Legion, 91 American Legion Drive More information.

4:30 P.M. (FREE), FAMILY, Dad and Family Time- Bowling and Pizza Night Valley Park Bowling, Curran Highway More information.

5:00 P.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Octoberfest in The Airport Rooms TOURISTS Welcome, 915 State Road More information.

5:00 P.M. (FREE), BIKING, Halloween West End Bike Around Greylock School, 100 Phelps Ave More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), OPEN MIC, OPEN MIC The Parlor Cafe, 303 Ashland Street More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), INFORMATIONAL, Milton Hershey School Family Event: North Adams, MA Freight Yard Pub & Restaurant, 1 Furnace Street More information.

7:30 P.M. (FREE), WRITING, Fiction Writing Workshop [open house] Common Folk, 85 Main Street More information.

7:30 P.M. (FREE), BINGO, Musical Bingo at Mingo's Sports Bar and Grill 41 Roberts Drive More information.

8:00 P.M. ($15), COMEDY, Comedy Night w/ Andy Sandford HiLo North Adams, 55 Union Street More information.
Friday 10/25
10:30 A.M. (FREE), CONVERSATION, Coffee with a Cop MCLA Campus Center, 375 Church Street More information.

10:30 A.M. (FREE), PARENTING, Ages and Stages The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Drop-In Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.

12:00 P.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Open Hours UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

7:00 P.M. (FREE), MOVIES, Halloween cartoon movie night MCLA Freel Library, Blackinton Street More information.

7:00 P.M. (By Donation), CRAFTING, Knitting Nights with Common Folk Common Folk, 73 Main Street More information.

7:00 P.M. ($1 and up), GAMES, BINGO! North Adams Elks 487 Lodge, 100 Eagle Street, (413) 664-9039 More information.

7:00 P.M. ($12 adv, $15 at the door), CONCERT, Gregory Douglass LIVE at HiLo North Adams HiLo North Adams, 55 Union Street More information.

8:00 P.M. (Prices vary, click link for details), THEATER, Miss Julie MCLA Theatre, 375 Church Street More information.

9:00 P.M. (FREE), MUSIC, Karaoke Friday! State Street Tavern, 167 State Street, (413) 664-9152 More information.
Saturday 10/26
9:00 A.M. (FREE), CLOTHING DRIVE, Winter Clothing Drive First Baptist Church of North Adams, 131 Main Street More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), GARDENING, Gardening Program UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

12:30 P.M. (Child $5, Adults $8, Family $25), FUNDRAISER, AYJ Fund Children's Princess Concert MCLA Church St Center, 375 Church Street More information.

3:00 P.M. (Cost of Admission), ART, Opening Reception: Sarah Oppenheimer, Jenny Holzer, and ERRE MASS MoCA, 1040 MASS MoCA Way More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), CONCERT, Fall Foliage Sunset Serenade - Jessica Gregory Wilson Wigwam Western Summit, 2350 Mohawk Trail More information.

8:00 P.M. (Prices vary, click link for details), THEATER, Miss Julie MCLA Theatre, 375 Church Street More information.

8:00 P.M. ($12 adv, $15 at the door), CONCERT, Misty Blues HiLo North Adams, 55 Union Street More information.

8:00 P.M. (Prices Vary, see link for details), CONCERT, Jenny Scheinman & Allison Miller’s Parlour Game MASS MoCA, 1040 MASS MoCA Way More information.
Sunday 10/27
2:00 P.M. (Prices vary, click link for details), THEATER, Miss Julie MCLA Theatre, 375 Church Street More information.

7:00 P.M. ($20 adv, $25 day of), CONCERT, Jeffrey Foucault HiLo North Adams, 55 Union Street More information.
Monday 10/28
5:00 P.M. (FREE), WORKSHOP, ROOTS Volunteer Training ROOTS Teen Center, 43 Eagle Street More information.

5:00 P.M. (FREE), BIKING, nbCC Bike Collective The Armory, 206 Ashland Street More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), WORKSHOP, Communications Career Panel Bowman Hall - MCLA, 375 Church Street More information.
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