We got lucky and, for a few seconds, had a clear view of this Northern Parula Warbler. She was migrating and feeding in lower branches that had not leafed-out.


Soon, she and her kind will reside at the top of the tree canopy. And, that’s when they become indistinguishable from dappling sunlight and effectively disappear. They’re only an inch longer than a credit card with a mostly blue-gray and white body that is camouflaged with a yellow daub on the breast and yellow-green daub on the back.


James Audubon named them Blue Yellow-Backed Warblers, but later name-givers thought they looked like titmice (genus Parus) and named them Parulas (“little titmice”). The Northern species lives mostly in the United States and the yellower Tropical Parulas live mostly in Central and South America. (Brooklin, Maine)