Creature Feature #24
YELLOW- RUMPED WARBLER (Stetophaga coronata)
Winter is the time of year when Mound House becomes a stopover for dozens of species of hungry migratory birds. Our rich and diverse native landscaping serves up a natural buffet where traveling birds find winter fruiting species such wax myrtle, bird pepper, white indigo berry, marlberry, beautyberry, wild coffee, dahoon holly, and annatto among others. To attract birds these berries are often bright and colorful, thereby enhancing our landscape. One of the most notable winter visitors to seek our abundant natural food source is the yellow-rumped warbler. These beautiful birds winter throughout of the central and southeastern United States and make Estero Island a regular winter destination.
Affectionately referred to as “butter butt” by birdwatchers, this is a full bodied warbler with a sturdy bill and long, narrow tail. During the spring migration, the formerly subdued colors of this warbler become a dazzling mix of bright yellow, charcoal black, and white.
Yellow-rumped warblers are often found in the outer fringes and mid-story of trees. They spend much of the day eating berries from shrubs and mid-story trees. They often travel in large flocks in winter, moving into shrubby habitats including coastal vegetation, such as here at Mound House. Look for them this winter feeding in the native coastal strand vegetation that grows along the sloping perimeter of our shell mound.