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Montpelier Wild No. 6: Scarlet Salutations
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NOW WELCOMING VISITORS to Hubbard Park is a Scarlet Tanager. Sounding like an American Robin with a sore throat, he sings above Parkway Avenue – the southeast entrance road to Montpelier’s “Central Park.” Your only hindrances are the maple leaves, which might block your view of this spectacular songbird. Your friend, however, is white ash, whose branches are mostly bare (at least for a few more days). Scarlet Tanagers sing this time of year from high, exposed perches, including ash branches. So look up, look way up. Also singing near the entrance this morning (May 23) was a Tennessee Warbler, which breeds not in the Volunteer State but way north of here. Go figure.
Meanwhile, along the North Branch River Park trails, Yellow Warblers, Chestnut-sided Warblers and American Redstarts are on territory and ready to nest. They’re vocal and darting at eye level. Note in particular one male American Redstart along the trail across from the city’s skate park. He’s sporting a silver bracelet on his leg – most likely a research subject from Montpelier’s North Branch Nature Center, whose BirdFest is May 31. Don’t miss it.