Wanted … Dead or Alive!

Insects, that is. Yesterday morning, I headed back out to photograph the Eastern bluebirds at the local prairie. Things there were very slow, however, so I decided to check out a nearby lake. This lake used to be one of my favorite kayak locations, but last year the Missouri Conservation Department decided to drain the lake and re-build it into a better, fishing lake. Since our spring has been very wet (thank goodness, as last year’s drought took a big toll on area waterways and wildlife), I thought I’d check it out. When I got there I noticed that the lake level has actually raised a bit from my last visit there, a couple of weeks ago. So, I grabbed my tripod and 500mm lens and decided to see what I could find.

One of the most interesting subjects I found was a very cooperative male Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea), one of my favorite kayak outing birds to photograph. And not only did this little guy stay close to where I had set up, but I also found that he and his mate had built a cavity nest in a hole in the tree that was close to me! In another post, I’ll share some of those photos, but in today’s post I have some interesting foraging photos of this little guy.

In this first photo, he is checking out the tree for insects:Prothonotary Warbler foraging for insects


Notice the 2 small insects at the bottom of the photo? They were caught in a spider’s web. That’s ok, dead insects are still a good source of protein! Here, he is ready to grab one of the little morsels:

Prothonotary Warbler grabbing an insect from a spider web


And in this next image, you can see he has the insect in his beak:

Prothonotary Warbler with an insect in his beak


Immediately after downing the insect, he begins to sing. I guess this was his way of giving the snack a “thumbs up”:

Prothonotary Warbler singing after eating insect


Stay tuned for more images of this cooperative little warbler.



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