Male Cape May warbler in spring
© JZHunt/Getty Images Plu
A songbird with Jersey roots. Travelling warblers
The Cape May warbler was named after Cape May in the US state of New Jersey, where it was first observed by ornithologist Alexander Wilson in 1811. After that, these birds weren't seen again in the area for more than a century. In spring, this warbler migrates almost 3,000 miles – from the West Indies to the coniferous forests in Canada and the northern US to breed. As this fist-sized songbird flies north, its diet adapts to the environment. During winter among palm trees, the Cape May drinks nectar thanks to its unusual semi-tubular tongue. But in summer in the boreal forests, it eats insects – especially the spruce budworm – with a special gusto.