This little warbler is one of the most coveted in NC for several reasons. It breeds in only a handful of locations in the mountains and couple in the piedmont. Also, it tends to stay very high in the trees so the looks are difficult if you can find them at all. It is estimated that the population has dropped 70% since the 1960's due to stresses in the breeding range but also on it's wintering grounds in the Andes not to mention the perils it faces on the way down (wind farms). These little jewels are so rare that finding one is special and hopefully they will stick around for generations to come.
This one was photographed off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Every once and a while they come down to drink or bathe in a stream and if you are luck enough you will get an eye level glimpse like this one. Unfortunately I was using an old camera for this one.