Hovering Phylloscopus – Warblers

Every now and then several species of old-world Warblers of the genus Phylloscopus are observed feeding on pollen and nectar. This habit is usually found during migratory periods and is thought to be associated by scientists as a means of building energy after or before long-distance flights. So far, migratory Phylloscopus warblers have been observed visiting the flowers of various plant species, including eucalyptus trees, aloes and capers. The fact that nectarivory is not restricted to migratory birds is proved by this picture showing a Canary Islands Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus canariensis) on the island of Tenerife visiting the flowers of an ornamental banana tree. Although this habit has been rarely observed or photographed, this individual has apparently learned to hover in front of the corollas and is able to feed nectar almost like a hummingbird (Trochilidae) or sunbird (Nectariniidae). It can be seen that this species is not a migratory bird, because the Canary Islands Chiffchaff is a native species of the Canaries, although closely related to central European Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) or the Iberian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus ibericus). The Canary Islands Chiffchaff has more rounded wing tips than its northern relatives and the characteristic wing shape is clearly visible here.

From the far north of Europe and America images that show a warbler standing in flight is reported more often. Arctic Warbler has been frequently photographed hovering under a conifer tree branch. This food technique is used to detect hidden insects. This type of foraging is a specialty of several Phylloscopus-warblers. Members of this genus sometimes catch flying insects in the air, but more often they hover among foliage or under the branches to look for prey. Insects that are hidden in these places are usually overlooked by heavier bird species with less agile addictive tactics.

To cope with the growing demand for top shots of the rarer species of the Palearctic Bird-Lens is keen to enrich the range of pictures of birds you can find in the western palearctic.  Trips to remote places like this one to capture images not only of rare birds of western palearctic were very successful. The nice image of the blog is only a first impression, what you will find in the gallery in the “Picture Shop” very soon. Just give me a message, if I could serve you with an image needed before the new pictures are online.

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