Birdwatchers know that after a night of mild southerly winds, an early April or May morning can bring a windfall of warblers.
Warblers are small, insect-eating birds that spend their winters in central and south america. Most of the birds, especially the males, are brilliant yellows, oranges, blues and greens. Some species nest in the midwest, but many merely pause here on their way to the extensive evergreen forests of canada and the northern united states.
Warblers arrive in the area at just the right time to snatch up leaf-hungry insects. As buds on trees and shrubs begin to open, caterpillars and other insects attack the lush new growth. The abundance of insects makes it easy for warblers to refuel quickly for another night of flying.
To find warblers, your ears can be your best tool. Listen for their high-pitched buzzing songs coming from trees and shrubs. Then look for small flashes of color as the birds flit restlessly among the branches. Use binoculars to get a closer look. Warblers typically migrate in large flocks and one tree may host several species. Isolated patches of trees, and trees close to water, are often good places to search for warblers.
Information from allaboutbirds.org.
Find places in Missouri to spot migrating warblers at the Great Missouri Birding Trail.