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Bird of the Week: A Wee Yellow Bird That’s Maybe a Thief, Too?

A new column to get your bird smarts on.

Welcome to your semi-weekly column of the birds that you might spot around the Lower Mainland—or mostly around Lost Lagoon, because my co-bird-of-the-weeker (and bird photographer extraordinaire) Steven Pollock and I are little obsessed with it, and disappointed when we look elsewhere.

I mean, I once saw a badling of ducks (yes, that is the first time I’ve used that word and now I’ll use it always) that included a Northern Shoveler, an American Coot, a Lesser Scaup AND a Greater Scaup and, of course, the prolific (but gorgeous) Wood ducks and Mallards along the shoreline there. It does not get better than that.

Which brings us to the Bird of the Week: the Yellow-Rumped Warbler.

yellow rumped warbler

Credit: Steven Pollock

The Yellow-Rumped Warbler in action, spotted at Lost Lagoon

Adorbs, right? Any bird whose name as the word “rump” in it is a good time, and this little gaffer was jumping around in a willow tree hanging over Lost Lagoon. They’re diverse eaters, apparently, who like everything from insects and spiders to seaweed and berries (and have the rare honour of being the only warblers who can digest the waxes in bayberries and wax myrtles, so go team Yellow-Rumped!)

Another guy on the trail, who I only know as Larry the Beaver Guy, and sometimes Larry the Owl Guy (because he’s an excellent spotter of both) shared that the warblers are coming back to Vancouver hard right now. So if you’re into little ones, this is your season to shine.

Hot spots around the lagoon include the cherry trees near the bathrooms on the northeastern side (or wherever the only bathrooms are down there—that general area), and the weeping willows that are just starting to leaf out, all around the lagoon.

Cute, but maybe with a side of danger. At least one website said that warblers “sneak off like thieves to steal food from others. Thus, they represent the good and bad of the world.”

But when you’re this handsome, I think the world just gives you what you want, no? Cute rumps go a long way.

Yellow Rumped Warbler 2

Credit: Steven Pollock

Look at that cute butt, er, rump.

Getting into birding? I cannot recommend the Merlin app enough: it is the answer to all my “what bird is THAT” questions. It has a simple series of questions that gets you to the answer, and it’s almost always right. And it’s free. Download it, stat.

READ MORE: Wood Ducks Cured Me of The Sads