Hey, it's May! We've got warm weather, flowers, and of course BIRDS! During this time of year a lot of birds have come out to play again and as both a birder and graphic designer, I find inspiration in these lively, colorful friends. So let's check out some color palettes of some beautiful birds!
Let's start things off with the lovely Cedar Waxwing. This small bird gets its name from the red waxy tips of its wing feathers. They can be a tad difficult to see from afar, but when they are on display, they're certainly striking against the soft gray of their body feathers. If you're interested in finding this bird, you're best chance is to look around fruiting trees or shrubs.
Next up is the Baltimore Oriole. This colorful bird is a Spring visiter, traveling all the way from Central America. They have a unique call and you typically hear them before you see them. But, if you're looking for this gorgeous friend, they tend to stick close to the tops of trees. A tip to attract them to your yard is to cut some oranges in half and hang them outside. Baltimore Orioles love ripe fruit and go out of their way to eat it!
Next we have the dashing Wood Duck (a personal favorite of mine)! The male wood duck is the show stopper, with his glorious feathers and striking eye color. The females are much more subdued, but are still very cute with a smaller tuft of feathers towards the back of their head. Now despite being a waterfowl, Wood Ducks perch and nest in trees and are very good at flying through their forest habitat. Their ducklings can even jump over 50 feet from their tree nest without injury from the fall! You can find Wood Ducks in wooded swamps, marshes and places with lots of cattails.
Keeping on the trend of bright and colorful friends lets take a look at the Yellow Warbler! Warblers are a telltale sign of Spring! In North America there are over 50 species of Warblers, and they are delightful in their own way each having their own unique song. The Yellow Warbler is one of the most commonly heard ones with a song that sounds like "sweet sweet sweet I’m so sweet"! You can find these tiny birds at the tops of tall trees around wet woods, thickets, or streamsides. Since they tend to be so high up, birder's often suffer from a sore neck from staring upwards, this is fondly referred to as "Warbler's Neck".
To wrap things up we have the adorable Eastern Bluebird. They do hang out in Massachusetts year round, but Spring is when they come out and really display their bright blue hues! However, despite their name, the color of their blue feathers depends heavily on the light. From afar, they often look a plain gray-brown color, not the vibrant blue they are known for. They live in open spaces surrounded by trees and do not typically visit backyard feeders. However, you may be able to attract them by putting out some mealworms!
Now that you've seen some adorable birds and some wonderful colors, go get designing! And if you're thinking about getting into Bird Watching yourself, check out All About Birds to get some information and tips on how to find all the wonderful birds around you and how to attract them to your yard! If you're looking for some more in-depth information, check out E-Bird to really take a closer look at what birds are visiting your area from your own local birders!