Greenwich Audubon Center – Lawrence’s Warbler

May 20:  The Greenwich Audubon Center, nestled in spectacular virgin acreage north of the Merritt Parkway in the leafy town of Greenwich, CT, is the breeding home this spring of a Lawrence’s Warbler, the rare doubly recessive Golden-winged X Blue-winged hybrid.Lawrence's WarblerThis feisty male is protecting a triangular territory of its preferred low, second-growth habitat, singing a typical Blue-winged song, and appears to be setting up shop with a female Blue-winged Warbler.

We visited the site on May 19 as a last stop on the long trip home from Florida to Connecticut via Indiana, but it was 5 PM and quiet, with no “bee bzzzzz” song to be heard, so I drove back down from Westbrook to Greenwich early on May 20. Upon arrival at 8:15 AM, a Blue-winged Warbler song could immediately be easily heard emanating from a tall deciduous tree at the southeast corner of the Lawrence’s reported triangular territory, but the tree is fully leafed out and no bird was visible.  It took a full hour of patient observation before the Lawrence’s finally flew out to perch for a few seconds on an eye-level shrub at a second apex of the triangle, before finally alighting at the top of a tall evergreen that marks the third apex, where it gratifyingly sat and sang for several minutes in full view in perfect sunlight.

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