Blackburnian Warbler

::Blackburnian Warbler (Setophaga fusca):: Birdwatching during spring migration is a search for gems in a sea of new green, tiny pops of color hidden in the forest like eggs on Easter morning. Scarlet tanager. Golden-crowned kinglet. Cerulean, black-throated blue, yellow-throated, and orange-crowned warblers. For a brief moment, the forest revives itself with ephemeral wildflowers below and color-named birds above. Nearly all of these treasures must be looked for in order to be seen. Before I knew about the trout lily or dutchman’s breeches, did I ever see them there by my feet? Before I knew about the yellow-breasted chat or the indigo bunting, did I ever see or hear them in the canopy? Would I ever have seen the blackburnian warbler (pictured here) and its brilliant, sunset orange throat if I hadn’t walked slowly, quietly, with binoculars poised to rise, listening and watching? There are snow-capped mountains and sandy beaches and red sandstone cliffs whose magnificence stops us in our tracks with powerful intensity, but most of nature’s treasures are shy, waiting quietly in hidden places, there for a moment and then gone.