A Preponderance of Yellows

So I went birding yesterday, since Gypsy’s engine needed a bit of a test drive. I didn’t walk far, but I was out for a long time, and today I’m paying the price. But the payoff was worth the price of admission.

I got some fairly good shots of birds I’ve seen a million times, like this Carolina Wren.



An Eastern Bluebird



A Downy Woodpecker (female) – the males have a little splash of red on the nape of their neck. When males and females are different in some way, biologists call that sexual dimorphism. I try to remember to mention it when posting bird shots when I can tell the sex of the bird.



Some bird species exhibit this trait very obviously, some less so, some you can’t tell apart without an anatomical exam. Like the Carolina Wren above, Green Herons don’t really differ in any obvious way.



And neither do Great Blue Herons.



But American Goldfinches do. Here’s a male.



..and here’s a female.



A somewhat perturbed-looking male Northern Parula



and a female.



But more than dimorphism, something I happened to notice yesterday was how many of the birds I was seeing had some (or a lot) of yellow in them. From a little bit of yellow, as in the Yellow-billed Cuckoo:


or the Cedar Waxwing



to a whole lot of yellow, like some of the birds above, or the Prothonotary Warblers



And a new one for my life-lists, the Yellow-throated Vireo



But the bird who stole the show for me yesterday, also new for the life-lists, had no yellow at all. The Scarlet Tanager:



I had to chuckle when I was about done for the day, though. Even Gypsy and I were accidentally in on the yellow act.




I think it was one of those confirmation bias things, really. Once you focus on it, you see it everywhere. I could have just as easily noticed white, I suppose. But yesterday was a happy, sunny yellow day, and I’m ok with that.