Yesterday I headed over to Sweetwater Wetlands to see if I could find the Black and White Warbler that has been reported off and on for the past few weeks.
I have been working on a book about the Warblers of Arizona. The Black and White Warbler is typically an eastern United States warbler. However it occasionally finds its way into Southern Arizona so I want it in my book. I've tried several times before both at Sweetwater and Tanque Verde Wash where it has also been reported, but each time without luck.
It is definitely helpful to know something about a particular bird's behavior before going in search for it. Does it typically forage only it the tops of pine trees, like the Olive Warbler for example, or near the ground in brush like MacGillivray's Warbler. Is it buried in leaves or pine needles like Grace's Warbler? Or is it often found on the trunk or branches like the Black and White or Painted Redstart.
So, knowing where to look isn't just about geography, it is about habitat behavior. And of equal importance are patience and persistence.
Yesterday I found this little guy gleaning bugs off the bark of several tall trees near one of the ponds at Sweetwater. It reminded me at first of the Brown Creeper.
Here are a few of those photos: