All around Cape Ann, from West Gloucester to East, from Cape Hedge to Good Harbor to Cox Reservation, I have been checking out the Poison Ivy patches and sure enough, there are Yellow-rumped Warblers relishing the white waxy fruits at every locale. Who knew it was a thing 🙂 And now I have a new favorite species to add to the long list of beloved wild creatures.
According to Cornell, Yellow-rumped Warblers are the only warbler able to digest the waxes found in Wax Myrtle and Bayberries. This ability to digest waxy fruit allows the Yellow-rumped Warbler to winter as far north as Newfoundland.
Yellow -rumped warblers are versatile foragers. They eat insects in the spring, summer, and when available. You may see them picking at insects on washed up seaweed. During migration and the winter months, their habit is to eat Poison Ivy fruits, grapes, Wax Myrtle, Bayberries, Virginia Creeper berries, dogwood fruits, and Juniper berries. Yellow-rumped Warblers also eat goldenrod seeds and beach grass seed, and if you are fortunate to have them at your feeder, provide Sunflowers seeds, raisins, peanut butter, and suet.
The Yellow-rumped Warblers have been dining on PI fruits for over a month. As autumn has unfolded, I’ve added new clips to the short film below. Filmed from mid-September to mid-October I see no signs of the feast abating as there is still plenty of fruit around. More photos to come when I have time to sort though.
For more about Poison Ivy, and the myriad species of wildlife this native vine supports, go here:
Please join the Town Green and the Save Salt Island Group for what promises to be a fantastic virtual webinar and workshop on the ecosystem of. Good Harbor Beach.
Event: The first of a three-part workshop/webinar series focusing on the Good Harbor Beach ecosystem: Protecting and Preserving the Good Harbor Beach Ecosystem for Current and Future Generations
What: An online workshop/webinar with several small group breakout sessions for participants to discuss the issues raised and reflect on the changes that have already happened
- Professor Charles Waldheim from the Harvard Graduate School of Design
- Jayne Knott, TownGreen board member and founder of HydroPredictions
- Denton Crews from Friends of Good Harbor
- Mary Ellen Lepionka, local historian
You will learn about:
- The history of Good Harbor Beach
- The Good Harbor Beach ecosystem and current climate threats
- Incremental sea level rise, flooding, ecosystem adaptation, and vulnerable infrastructure
- The Great Storm scenario based on research from Harvard Graduate School of Design
The first workshop will be followed by a Good Harbor Beach field trip on October 27th to tour vulnerable areas identified in the workshop. The second and third workshop/webinars will address adaptation options and project planning for the Good Harbor Beach area. The Good Harbor Beach ecosystem workshop/webinar series is a pilot public education program that TownGreen will replicate to focus on climate impacts in Essex, Manchester-by-the-Sea, and Rockport.
Jayne F. Knott, Ph.D.
JFK Environmental Services LLC