About Warblers - photobirding

Warblers are small, active, usually brightly coloured, insectivorous birds with thin needle-pointed bills.Most are tree dwellers but a few forage closer to the ground. Often referred to as the "jewels of the forest'  one can really appreciate the relevance of this designation after a few hours of observation.

The spring Warbler migration through 'migrant traps' like Point Pelee (on Lake Eire) and Prince Edward Point (on Lake Ontario) provide the highlight of the year for many birders. 30 or so species can be found by experienced and even the novice can usually bag 20 in a season.


The spring Warbler migration through Southern Ontario starts at the end of April, peaking during the second week of May and gradually tapering off by the end of May. In spring, the males are in their full breeding plumage hoping to attract a mate before they get to the nesting area. Consequently they also sing loudly and provide visibility to Photographers as they perch on leafless branches.


I live in Belleville and traveling to Point Pelee is not really convenient, but Warblers can be observed in quantity at Presqu'ile Provincial Park and Prince Edward Point nearby. My favourite is  the Point Traverse Woods at Prince Edward Point, where a group of volunteers maintain trails that guarantee up to 20 species on a good day.


The Fall migration is more diffuse and the bird's have adopted more sombre plumage, making identification tricky at times.