[mou] Kentucky Warbler, Louisville Swamp, MN Valley NWR, Sat. Afternoon

Holly Peirson hpbirdscouter at msn.com
Sun Jun 1 10:35:43 CDT 2008

Sorry for late post: I re-found the Kentucky Warbler Saturday PM, on the
advice of Al, the original finder, and also some very helpful folks on the
trail. I hope Ben, the next person along, was able to see it, too!  It was
singing loudly and very often, 1:15-2:00 PM. As I came close to the place
where folks had said it would be, I wondered how I would know if I was
hearing it. 


I began to hear a very loud and 'perky,' a two-noted tuwee, tuwee, tuweee
song. At one point I may even have heard 2, so wonder if the female also
sings at times. The B. Oriole nearby would often sing in tandem. The
Kentucky's musical whistle seems very similar to the short burbling notes of
the oriole. After I found it, it sat quite still when not singing. I was
able to find it about 25 ft up on a horizontal branch. It threw its head
back and sang with all its might, so look for small movements in the brush
as it sings (frequently, probably average of 6x a minute.) I know of no
other bird that lives in SE Minn. that makes a loud, consistent song of this


Since I had talked to some folks who had just heard it, I waited for quite a
while since it seemed to be maybe less than 50 ft into the brush. I was
rewarded for the wait! I noticed a bird flying by at about waist level, then
it flew up and perched at about 10ft. I could not find it there, but then it
sang from what seemed higher. I was thinking about how many of the forest
floor skulkers seem to be "ventriloquists" (can shoot their voices out so
seem to be coming from higher), but was finally able to find it at about
20-25 ft. 


>From the parking lot for Louisville Swamp section of MN Valley NWR (good
location for bird of this name.), go out on path to Right. It's billed as a
horse path, looks like a jeep rd. Continue on this until you reach a split,
take the left path. About 150 ft further, the path begins a trend downhill
and becomes quite rocky, more like a path than a road. Continue for another
50-75 yards. There are no distinguishing trees or markings, but you will
soon begin to hear the bird singing if it's there. Postings have shown that
it sings most of the day, at least until it finds a mate and begins the
nesting cycle.


Thank you to all who have posted this bird. I hope this post helps someone
else see it. This was my first "lifer" in MN for some time. I wouldn't
normally have spent my ($3.92) gas money to go see it from where I live near
Forest Lake, but I had just been on an AM field trip to Murphy-Hanrehan with
Saint Paul Audubon Society.


Holly Peirson

Columbus, Anoka Co.


Wear bug juice if you want to wait for a while to try to see it, otherwise
unless you are immune, you'll want to be content with hearing it!


Other birds in the area:

Brown Thrasher, Orchard and Baltimore Oriole, Yellow Warbler, Am. Redstart,
Co. Yellowthroat, Blue-winged Warbler, H. Wren, Eastern Towhee, Field and
Song Sparrow, Red-eyed, Yellow-throated, and Blue-headed Vireo, Am.
Goldfinch, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Hairy, Downy, Red-bellied, and
Pileated Woodpecker, No. Flicker, Am. Robin, Ea. Bluebird, Pheasant, Ea.
Wood Pewee, Alder and Great-crested Flycatcher, Tree and Barn Swallows,
Black and Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Chickadee, Wh-breasted Nuthatch, Blue Jay,
Crow, Turkey Vulture.

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