While walking the utility road behind Miner’s Cove at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma on September 7th, I spotted several small, bright yellow birds flitting through the brush. With help identifying them from my good friend Mia McPherson, I learned these were Yellow Warblers, a species I don’t often encounter at this refuge.
These warblers are aptly named for their sunny yellow plumage accented by yellow-orange streaks. Their breeding habitat spans much of North America near wetlands and streams. Many migrate to Central and South America for the winter.
I was thrilled to capture a few shots of one individual snatching a spider off of a limb. The first image shows the warbler reaching for the spider. In the second, you can clearly see the spider in the bird’s beak.
Photographing wildlife like these warblers in action is always a special treat. This was my first time photographing Yellow Warblers specifically at the Sequoyah NWR or anywhere else. I feel fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time to document this behavior. It’s encounters like this that make me love seeking out and capturing unique moments in the natural world.
I’m looking forward to keeping an eye out for more of these striking songbirds on future visits to the refuge. Spotting and photographing new-to-me species is one of the best parts of wildlife photography.
Steve Creek, Wildlife Photographer
- Camera: Canon EOS R5
- Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM
Technical Details: First Photo
- Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
- Date and Time Taken: September 7, 2023 (08:59 A. M.)
- Program Mode: Manual
- Aperture: f8
- Shutter speed: 1/800
- ISO: 250 (Auto)
- Exp. Comp.: +0.3
- Focal Length: 500 mm