Photographed by Bette Jackson
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Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. If you happen to be walking near a wet, tall grass area, you might get a glimpse of a tiny olive bird with a yellow breast, slender bill, and distinctive black mask. This is one of our best-known wintering wood warblers: the common yellow throat. Common yellow throats feed on and near the ground, but males pop up occasionally to perch on a tall weed to sing, or may flush from cover as a human walks close. The yellow throat is a connoisseur of tiny insects, spiders, and snails, and is rarely seen more than about three feet off the ground and usually near water. Only males have the black mask, and the non-descript olive-colored females are sometimes difficult to identify. While migrant common yellow throats are abundant in Florida in winter, some are residents that remain to nest in Florida. Males are often heard in spring and their voices are loud and easily recognized: 'whichity, whichity, whichity'.'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.