Wonderful Warblers – Honestly, Where Do I Start


Blackburnian Warbler

Too many birds are passing through our area to even keep up. Here, we have some at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, NY.


The cemetery has beautiful grounds and is known for famous people buried on the property as well as large, towering trees. Each year, bird watchers descend for the annual spring migration. Take a look at what is migrating through.


Yellow-rumped Warbler

As a new birdwatcher (two years in a formal fashion), many of the seasoned birdwatchers were spotting birds for my camera, but one thing about having so many helpful friends aiding my difficulty following these quick little birds, was by the time I saw the bird and raised my camera, the warblers were gone.

Also, the birds are often found behind leaves and blossoms. They don’t just sit waiting generally. I am lucky if they sit still for five seconds.

Creasted Flycatcher or Swainson's-Warbler, not sure.

Creasted Flycatcher or Swainson’s Warbler, not sure.

I had to be really quick on the shutter to get them before they moved on from branch to branch. When I finally get good at identifying one warbler from another by next year, I will set my camera up on a tripod to get better images. This means staying stationary and just waiting for birds to come to me.


Cape May Warbler

In this place, that is something that can be done because just about everywhere one looks, there is a colorful bird going by. You can see much variety is at the cemetery.


Yellow Warbler

These are not generally garden birds (I asked the experts), but ones found mostly in wooded areas. Some of the warblers are nectaring on fruit tree blossoms, others are chasing insects around the pond. The Yellow Warbler is one I believe of only two that one might find nesting here after the annual migration, all the rest move northward.


American Redstart



Palm Warbler

There is a short window to see these birds. Many were calling and singing, so I asked a birding expert why. He said they are practicing for when they get to their nesting grounds to attract a female. Honing their skills, who knew?


Common Yellowthroat

If you can believe, the experienced birders saw many more Warblers than I have in this post, even rare ones like the Prothonotary Warbler. The Nashville, Orange-crowned, Townsend’s, Black-throated Green, Black-throated Blue, Hooded, and Wilson’s warblers were among others sighted. Some I saw, but could not capture. Others, I may have photographed and could not identify.

This might make you change your mind on planting Ornamental Cherry and Crabapple, it might make you rethink how beneficial non-native plants can be in a garden at certain times of the year. Bees were covering these trees as well. Even turf grass was hiding insects for the warblers.


Prairie Warbler

Prairie Warbler

Not all birds care if we have strictly native plants. I also saw the same variety of warblers in the wooded areas, but not in this concentration.


What is important in addition to the water bodies, is the sunny conditions of the plants here. Sun attracts the insects and the insects attract the warblers.


And the warblers attract the birdwatchers!

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

The woman below is recording what is being seen, as are the photographers shown.


Take note of your own local cemeteries for wildlife activity. Most cemeteries plant very common landscape plants around the lawns…


Magnolia Warbler

Like this tulip magnolia. Guess what it attracts?


It may also make you appreciate water on home landscapes. As much as people dislike the insects water brings, these extremely active insectivores make short work of them. We saw flycatchers cleaning up around the pond as well.


Black and White Warbler

Most people who garden only think of flowers, but there is much wildlife that is dependent on trees and shrubs. There is also wildlife that needs open areas, so again, there is a useful purpose for all types of landscape. You just might not want tombstones dotting your open areas, but low grasses and perennials are great for getting the insects birds like to eat.


Chestnut-sided Warbler

Study your local cemetery and see how it benefits wildlife, then take a look back at your own garden. Structured is not always the antithesis it is portrayed.


Yellow Warbler

Coming up… First Time Garden Visitors, Holes – What’s in the Holes?, How to Build a Trail in the Woods, Presque Isle State Park, Baltimore Orioles Build a Funky Nest. Not sure what you will see next.


Northern Parula


About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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27 Responses to Wonderful Warblers – Honestly, Where Do I Start

  1. richa0112 says:

    It’s a visual treat to eyes for anyone and esp where summer has shown it’s true colors. really like and look forward to the way you described each and every Warbler and the surroundings πŸ™‚

  2. Hi Donna girl .. sorry about how hard it is to track me down. I think because I changed platforms ages ago and it still hiccups in the system. I’m not on FB .. I hate most social media, can you tell I am a hermit ? other than the simple blog I do (don’t judge me by my design girl .. I am playing with it still! LOL) .. so that is my story ! Love that amazing warbler .. we don’t get many here but the Goldfinches are “neon” they are so colourful .. they keep us happy.
    Thanks for the effort in finding me and leaving a comment … I appreciate it !
    Joy : )

  3. Patty says:

    Wow, great sightings Donna. I was lucky one year (now many years ago) to have the warblers pass through my garden. I saw about 10 different kinds. It was fabulous and I had to tear myself away from the windows to get anything done. Then, yesterday, who was at my feeder? an Indigo Bunting. Unbelievable ! Of course the battery in my camera was dead and I couldn’t find the spare… I am hoping that he -in all his brilliant blue- will visit again today.

  4. gauchoman2002 says:

    Great photos (as always). And you did an impressive job with bird identification. Like you said the warblers don’t stay still long enough for me to usually get a good look, let alone a good picture, so I oftentimes have trouble identifying them. I loved the photos of the Common Yellowthroat and the Yellow warbler, we get both here in Eastern North Dakota and their songs are amongst my favorites.

  5. Jet Eliot says:

    Your warbler show in the cemetery has this birder pining for the eastern U.S. spring migration! Your photos are exquisite, and I especially like seeing the blackburnian warbler. Thanks so much, Donna, for bringing your migration to the west coast. πŸ™‚

  6. I love the yellow one!

  7. alesiablogs says:

    This past March brought us the most rain in years and our little creek below was rushing! I am convinced that brought more of my singing friends out! I just could not see them very well, much less photograph them as you have done because of all my trees and the fact as you stated –they are so fast!!!

  8. wonderful photos. I think I’ve seen some of these birds but didn’t know what they were.
    Gorgeous cemetery.

  9. Nick Hunter says:

    Very nice. Like the cemetery scene and have a weakness for warblers on blooming fruit trees. If I had a large-scale bloom and bigger lens to work with, would be camping out and shooting with both barrels! Might be able to do something when our wild apple blossoms arrive.

  10. menomama3 says:

    Excited to learn the warblers will be headed north – my way – soon. I have a cherry tree in my back yard that is ready to blossom any minute now. I’ll watch for these lovely, fleeting beauties.

  11. Debra says:

    Brava! Love the blossoms and birds. What a treat. I do need to add some kind of water feature onto the property. That is the one thing my ‘landscape’ lacks for attracting wildlife. I have been nervous about doing so. We live very close to a creek and already have bazzilions of mosquitoes (and more happily fireflies) but maybe with access to water here I could attarct their predators, too.

  12. milliontrees says:

    We have the great good fortune of being neighbors of Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, CA. It was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead shortly after the Civil War. It’s one of the few properties he designed in the west. We walk there every day. It’s a great way to start the day.

    Beautiful warblers!! So lovely in the blooming trees.

  13. Great pictures, especially when you consider how hard it is to capture these birds on film. We have seen some of these guys in the garden: common yellowstart, magnolia warbler (I think), black and white warbler … Always fleeting and usually just a couple of sightings in a season.

  14. PS – I agree about the importance of shrubs, this is a topic I frequently argue about with Judy.

  15. Phil Lanoue says:

    Tremendous collection of beauties! Well done!

  16. A feast for the eyes!!! I can imagine how frustrating it may have been trying to capture as many as possible but look at this crop!!!! Wonderful wonderful work, Donna! πŸ™‚

  17. My Heartsong says:

    Been lazy today but now that I have seen the warblers in your photos I am going for a walk and a look/see. The blossoms are gorgeous as are the parks!

  18. A.M.B. says:

    I love cemeteries. They are such peaceful places. These birds are just beautiful. I’ve never seen any of them in person!

  19. debsgarden says:

    Hi Donna, it is a joy to see your photos of spring with the beautiful birds and blooms! Cemeteries are often interesting places to visit, but that one has to be one of the prettiest. I loved the close-up shot of the yellow warbler amidst the cherry blossoms. You must have a lot of patience, as well as a good camera, to get such good images!

  20. Alisha says:

    no words to describe about the beauty of these pictures

  21. Susan says:

    Wonderful shots. I never knew our area had such a variety of feathered guests this time of year.

  22. acuriousgal says:

    I love all your Warbler pics, just beautiful!! I’m enjoying the activity at our feeder and venturing out at the arboretum. Never thought about the cemeteries for bird watching , excellent!!!

  23. Awwww, such sweet tweets!

  24. Very good and interesting post with the usual great photos. Blessings, Natalie πŸ™‚

  25. bittster says:

    What a variety, we don’t seem to get as many here since it’s more open, but in the days of living amongst the oaks, warbler migration was always a spectacle!

  26. Wow Donna….I love warblers but rarely see them anywhere except our local nature center…would love to see more in my garden someday.

  27. navasolanature says:

    I thought I was just getting to grip with the European warblers. What an amazing range and the colours. Not sure our European ones are so bright but all need places to stop over and in Portugal in January they were loving the almond blossoms, and the bees. The birds hide from me too but will try and sketch some and invest in a better camera soon. Great photos as I know how they hide and then move off!

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