The folks in the Riverwalk Bird Club don't just watch birds. The group includes some excellent photographers.
Nooga.com Outdoors is happy to share their great photos by featuring a Bird of the Week.
This week, we feature a common yellowthroat, taken by Charles Dean at Standifer Gap Marsh in Chattanooga.
Described as a skulking masked warbler of wet thickets, the common yellowthroat is far more frequently heard than seen. Its "wich-i-ty, wich-i-ty, wich-i-ty" can be heard from the Yukon to Newfoundland and from southern Florida to southern Mexico.
—Nine species of yellowthroats currently are recognized, most living in Mexico, all with black masks and yellow throats. Even more recognizable forms exist, with 12 subspecies of the common yellowthroat described north of Mexico. Just what the boundaries are between species and subspecies in this taxonomic complex remains to be completely worked out.
—As a small bird, the common yellowthroat is vulnerable to a large number of bird-eating predators, such as merlins and loggerhead shrikes. Yellowthroats occasionally are captured and eaten by unusual predators, too. Observations have been made of chuck-will's-widow eating yellowthroats on migration, and one adult common yellowthroat was taken from the stomach of a largemouth bass.
—The common yellowthroat is apparently monogamous within a breeding season, and only infrequently will males be seen with two mates in their territory. Females, however, show no fidelity to their mates and often attract other males with their calls. The true genetic mating system of this species remains to be worked out as well.
—One subspecies of common yellowthroat is resident in the Rio Grande River Delta in Texas. It holds territories throughout the winter, and not only keeps other individuals out of its territory, but it also keeps migrant yellowthroats of other races completely out of its habitat.
This information is courtesy of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.