Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited
Vol 1. June, 1897 No. 6
THE BLACK AND WHITE CREEPING WARBLER.
HIS sprightly little bird is met with in various sections of the country. It occurs in all parts of New England and New York, and has been found in the interior as far north as Fort Simpson. It is common in the Bahamas and most of the West India Islands, generally as a migrant; in Texas, in the Indian Territory, in Mexico, and throughout eastern America.
Dr. Coues states that this warbler is a very common summer resident near Washington, the greater number going farther north to breed. They arrive there during the first week in April and are exceedingly numerous until May.
In its habits this bird seems to be more of a creeper than a Warbler. It is an expert and nimble climber, and rarely, if ever, perches on the branch of a tree or shrub. In the manner of the smaller Woodpecker, the Creepers, Nuthatches, and Titmice, it moves rapidly around the trunks and larger limbs of the trees of the forest in search of small insects and their larvae. It is graceful and rapid in movement, and is often so intent upon its hunt as to be unmindful of the near presence of man.
It is found chiefly in thickets, where its food is most easily obtained, and has been known to breed in the immediate vicinity of a dwelling.
The song of this Warbler is sweet and pleasing. It begins to sing from its first appearance in May and continues to repeat its brief refrain at intervals almost until its departure in August and September. At first it is a monotonous ditty, says Nuttall, uttered in a strong but shrill and filing tone. These notes, as the season advances, become more mellow and warbling.
The Warbler’s movements in search of food are very interesting to the observer. Keeping the feet together they move in a succession of short, rapid hops up the trunks of trees and along the limbs, passing again to the bottom by longer flights than in the ascent. They make but short flight from tree to tree, but are capable of flying far when they choose.
They build on the ground. One nest containing young about a week old was found on the surface of shelving rock. It was made of coarse strips of bark, soft decayed leaves, and dry grasses, and lined with a thin layer of black hair. The parents fed their young in the presence of the observer with affectionate attention, and showed no uneasiness, creeping head downward about the trunks of the neighboring trees, and carrying large smooth caterpillars to their young.
They search the crevices in the bark of the tree trunks and branches, look among the undergrowth, and hunt along the fences for bunches of eggs, the buried larvae of the insects, which when undisturbed, hatch out millions of creeping, crawling, and flying things that devastate garden and orchard and every crop of the field.
Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26 NKJV)
Today this birds is called the Black-and-white Warbler. But it still likes to climb around on the trees. It has a longer toe on the back of it foot that helps it cling to the tree as it checks for its meal. This bird feeds on insects and spiders, and unlike other warblers, forages like a nuthatch, moving up and down tree trunks and along branches.
Their measurements are: Length – 4.3–5.1 in (11–13 cm). Wingspan – 7.1–8.7 in (18–22 cm), Weight – 0.3–0.5 oz (8–15 g).
The Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia) is a species of New World warbler, the only member of its genus, Mniotilta. It breeds in northern and eastern North America from the Northwest Territory and Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada to Florida. This species is migratory, wintering in Florida, Central America and the West Indies down to Peru. This species is a very rare vagrant to western Europe.
Its song is a high see wee-see wee-see wee-see wee-see wee-see or weesa weesa weetee weetee weetee weet weet weet. It has two calls, a hard tick, and a soft, thin fsss.
The breeding habitat is broadleaved or mixed woodland, preferably in wetter areas. Black-and-white Warblers nest on the ground, laying 4–5 eggs in a cup nest.
The noise of a whip And the noise of rattling wheels, Of galloping horses, Of clattering chariots! (Nahum 3:2 NKJV)
Better yet, here is a youtube of a Black-and-white Warbler singing.
The above article is an article in the monthly serial for May 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.
To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited
(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)
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Black and White Creeping Warbler – Audubon