Moth Eater


Male Northern Parula, Little Manatee River State Park, Wimauma, Florida July 2020

If you ever come across a tall, blonde woman holding a camera, looking up into a tree and muttering, “Hold still, for just one second, please.” feel free to say hello, because it’s probably me.

Not only was this Northern Parula (Setophaga americana) a tiny target, measuring just under 5 inches, but he was an extremely busy one! Hopping from branch to branch and at times even doing quick loop-de-loops in the air while in search of insects for lunch.

Males sport a chestnut breast band during the summer though the rest of the year they’re less colorful and more closely resemble females. The genus name is Ancient Greek and means moth eater, but it appears that caterpillars and spiders actually make up a larger part of their diet.

Categories: Nature Notes

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