|Male cerulean warbler (Dendroica cerulea)|
The cerulean was first heard and seen on Monday afternoon. After putting up a mistnet—a wide and tall net that is designed to look like mist—we lured him in by playing a recording of a cerulean singing.
Behind the net, we placed a decoy cerulean. The cerulean then came down to investigate and got caught in the net.
The interesting thing about this bird is that he was molting his crown feathers (the feathers at the front of the head.) Researchers originally thought that ceruleans molt their crown feathers on the wintering grounds in South America, so this is a very exciting discovery.
|Mother-to-be Emily Boves|
Ijams is a good stopover site for migratory birds. They use it to gain weight before their long trek south. This is the fifth cerulean seen/heard here this July. Previously, I have only seen or heard them during peak spring and fall migration. We will keep you posted as to how long this bird sticks around Ijams.
- Story by Emily Boves. Photos by Than Boves. (Editor's note: Husband and wife—Than and Emily—have been doing research on cerulean warblers in the Cumberland Mountains for University of Tennessee for the past three years. In short, they know ceruleans.)