The first ones to arrive in MA, brush up!
This is usually the first one to arrive. Gold bird, medium sized warbler, rufus hat. When they arrive in MA they are often found lower than usual / on the ground looking for anything they can munch on. Song is a rapid trill. More “musical / pleasant” than a fast chipping sparrow, faster than many Junco trills.
Slimmer than palm, no hat, very slim beak, has streaks on the breast usually. Also a triller. They remain higher in the trees on arrival.
Spectacular bird, if it has arrived you can’t miss it- also they will arrive by the dozen so worth waiting for a good visual. These also trill, which is another reason it is good to get a visual. The trill is slow, very “sing-song”, and has a downward inflection at the end. If there are a bunch sticking around for the summer, try to watch some sing- soon enough you will be able to pick out this trill from the others.
-- Yellow warbler says “sweet sweet sweet, I’m so Sweet!” and can get a bit confusing with Yellow-rumped warbler
-- Chestnut-sided warbler says “very very pleased to meet ya!” and can get a bit confusing with Yellow warbler
Looks like a zebra - always acts like a nuthatch (clings to trunk and branches). This one trills like a rusty wheel. It can easily be distinguished after a bit of birding with some around.
Adult males look like a late 50’s hot-rodded American muscle car: long, low, two tone paint job. Matte/luster black with flame accents. Can’t miss it. The females and young males are buff (chrome, to keep in style I guess) with yellow accents. Look for behavior- if a “female” is getting beaten up while trying to sing a song in the same area, it is actually a first year male failing to establish a territory due to obviously being a youth.