Orange-crowned Warbler

Merlin Bird ID tells me this little warbler is considered a “rare” sighting! I’m not usually the one to find the unusual species; what a thrill to spot this one in a Bitter Cherry growing along the edge of the wetland.

Known to pierce the base of flowers to sip nectar, this little bird was busy doing just that. However, Orange-crowned Warblers eat mainly invertebrate prey including: ants, beetles, spiders, flies, and caterpillars. Their diet is supplemented with fruit, berries, seeds, and plant galls. Orange-crowned Warblers are also known to visit sapwells drilled by sapsuckers, and they sometimes appear at hummingbird feeders.

An interesting fact about this species is that the male Orange-crowned Warbler’s song is far more variable than that of other wood warblers… so much so that the males can be told apart by their distinctive song patterns. Breeding males often form “song neighborhoods,” where two to six birds in adjacent territories learn and mimic each other’s songs. These “neighborhood” songs can persist for years. (Cornell Lab)