“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” (Isaiah 55:11-13 KJV)
Avian and Attributes – Myrtle
MYR’TLE, n. [L. myrtus.] A plant of the genus Myrtus, of several species. The common myrtle rises with a shrubby upright stem, eight or ten feet high. Its branches form a close full head, closely garnished with oval lanceolate leaves. It has numerous small, pale flowers from the axillas, singly on each footstalk.
Myrtle warbler (Setophaga coronata) is a small New World warbler.
This passerine bird was long known to be closely related to its western counterpart, Audubon’s warbler, and at various times the two forms have been classed as separate species or grouped as yellow-rumped warblers, Setophaga coronata. The two forms most likely diverged when the eastern and western populations were separated in the last ice age. In North America, the two forms are now again officially recognized as conspecific.
The myrtle warbler has a northerly and easterly distribution, with Audubon’s further west. It breeds in much of Canada and the northeastern USA. It is migratory, wintering in the southeastern United States, eastern Central America, and the Caribbean. It is a rare vagrant to western Europe, and has wintered in Great Britain. Its breeding habitat is a variety of coniferous and mixed woodland. Myrtle warblers nest in a tree, laying 4–5 eggs in a cup nest.
The summer male myrtle warbler has a slate blue back, and yellow crown, rump and flank patch. It has white tail patches, and the breast is streaked black. The female has a similar pattern, but the back is brown as are the breast streaks.
The myrtle can be distinguished from Audubon’s warbler by its whitish eyestripe, white (not yellow) throat, and contrasting cheek patch. Their trill-like songs, nearly indistinguishable, consist of a 3–4 syllable “tyew-tyew-tyew-tyew”, sometimes followed by 3 more “tew”‘s. The call is a hard check.
[Definitions from Webster’s Dictionary of American English (1828), unless noted. Bird info from Wikipedia plus.]