2022—Hiding in Plain Sight

The trees in Magee Marsh are just beginning to leaf out. In a week or so, the entire area will be green. This year though, because of the damage from the devastating wind storm last year that felled trees, the canopy that once was high above the boardwalk, will not be overhead but will be at eye level. We were told that the downed trees and branches now covering the ground will still leaf out and they are already beginning to do so. Some roots remain intact that will nourish the branches for a few years to come allowing them to continue to leaf and provide shelter. The birds will still come and fill the area with song. However, instead of looking up for the warblers that crowd into the marsh on their migration north as they ingest the fuel needed to cross Lake Erie, the birds will be at eye level. But, because either side of the boardwalk will be filled with dense foliage from the felled branches and trees, it will be extremely challenging to spot the birds as they flit through the leaves. We got to Magee Marsh just in time this year. The leaves were just starting to leaf out. As the week progressed, the new leaves changed the look of the area and the foliage became denser each day. The patches of dense green were the harbinger of what it will be like at the peak of migration. This Yellow Warbler is singing his territorial song alerting other male Yellow Warblers that he’s in charge here. The tiny bird is just visible on a leafy branch. The blurred green is a hint of the foliage between the edge of the boardwalk and the bird. Despite the overwhelming green, the bright yellow bird stands out, like he is hiding in plain sight.

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