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There are several warbler species that spend the warm months in various habitats in southern Arizona. The Yellow-rumped Warbler is one of the very few that can be seen here year-round.
They’re pretty easy to find if you know where to look for them. They frequently show up where there are trees and large shrubs and a source of water. I photographed this individual, a female, in Patagonia, southeast of Tucson. However, I’ve seen and photographed Yellow-rumped Warblers in a municipal park within a five minute drive of our Tucson home.
The species gets its name from the patch of bright yellow plumage at the base of members’ tails. That yellow patch is mostly concealed on the individual whose images I’m posting today, a young female, but is just barely visible in the first image.
These warblers are busy little insectivores, and one can often see them hopping from branch to branch on mature trees as they forage. They’re often solitary birds, not traveling in flocks.
Photographing Yellow-rumped Warblers can be challenging, for two reasons. First, they never seem to sit still for very long. One will pop up on an exposed branch for a tantalizing few seconds, then disappear into the foliage. Second, they often forage in deep shade, making for somewhat difficult lighting.
Images made with a Canon R5, Canon EF 400mm f4 DO II lens+Canon EF 1.4x telextender, M setting (auto ISO), ISO 10,000, f5.6 @ 1/2000, -1 stop exposure compensation.