So it went with this mysterious little bird. I soon moved my attention to the large number of American Redstarts that were swirling about and engaging in dogfights among themselves. They were more cooperative than any previous times that I can recall. They are a brilliantly feathered bird.
I forgot about the mystery bird until I spotted one perched at eye level on our return towards the car. Unlike earlier, this one was in a more exposed location.
But wait! Look at that tail and compare it with the American Redstart above it. It's not a warbler, it is a female American Redstart. And,... what is in its beak? Nest material, likely. Follow what happened next.
She flies to the crotch in a small tree, maybe a Hawthorn.
It is nest building time. We've come upon an eye-level nest on a park service road. As the tree leafs out, she will have a nice hidden nest in a tree with serious thorns. So cool!
Now, I understand why the male American Redstarts were so active. This is a nesting area and the females are preparing the nests before laying eggs.
It will be interesting to follow this location. I am curious if the male will participate in feeding the young. So many such nests are extremely high and impossible to see. With care, the nest can be observed.
Not a mystery warbler anymore, but a female that looks markedly different from the male.