Canada warbler, Laurel Mtn, 9 June 2024 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

15 June 2024

During spring warbler migration I try to see as many species as possible as they pass through Pennsylvania and Ohio. Unfortunately, I missed some of my favorites this year, most notably the Canada warbler (Cardellina canadensis), so Charity Kheshgi and I went to Laurel Mountain last Sunday to find them on their breeding grounds.

The air was filled with veery (Catharus fuscescens) songs when we arrived at Laurel Summit State Park.

We thought we’d be able to see at least one of the two Canada warblers we heard singing along Spruce Bog Trail, but not. However, we got lucky on the Picnic Trail when the bird pictured above and below approached us making his warning call.

Canada warbler, Laurel Mtn, 9 June 2024 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

Here’s an example of what he sounded like:

There was plentiful shade in the forest, but that made the birds harder to see. This ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) is nicely lit but still in the dark.

Ovenbird, Laurel Mtn, 9 June 2024 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

We found other delights on the mountain. A tiger swallowtail butterfly sipped nectar from pitcher plant flowers at Spruce Bog.

Tiger swallowtail at pitcher plant flowers, Spruce Bog, Laurel Mtn, 9 June 2024 (photo by Kate St. John)

Pennsylvania’s state flower, mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), was in bloom.

Mountain laurel in bloom, Laurel Summit State Park, 9 June 2024 (photo by Kate St. John)

This trillium gone to seed showed well in dappled sunlight.

Trillium gone to seed, Laurel Mtn, 9 June 2024 (photo by Kate St. John)

We heard more birds than we could see, ultimately tallying 24 species in our checklist here.


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