Photographed by Bette Jackson
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Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. The wood warblers are tiny birds that are unique to the Americas. They're sometimes referred to as “the butterflies of the bird world” because of their bright colors and the diversity of patterns that they show. About 40 kinds of wood warblers are known from Florida. Most pass through on migration from the tropics each spring to nest in more northern areas of North America, and then pass through again in fall. A few make Florida their winter home. Palm warblers arrive in Florida as early as September and may stay as late as early May. As spring approaches, the yellow of the breast and feathers under the tail become brighter as they grow new plumage for breeding. As a result, they attract more attention, both from prospective mates and from us. We don't often see them in large flocks, but you might find half a dozen or more palm warblers looking for insects in a loose group scattered across your lawn. Palm warblers migrate at night, saving their days for feeding. With the warm southern breezes of spring, usually around the end of April, palm warblers disappear overnight as flocks begin their northward journey.'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.