Saturday, July 4, 2015

Warbler Guy, I'm always traveling to new birding spots, so what are my resource options for finding where to find warblers where I go?

Glad to help, Janice (in Phoenix).

Here's some resource options that may assist you:

1. The web is your friend, as you go:

- to birdingonthe.net and click on Rare Bird Alerts....Then click on the region to where you are going.  Scan. Read. Instant knowledge.

- to audubon.org....then click on the state to where you are going, and, next, local chapters. Choose the one in the area where you plan to visit, reading the area, say, that lists local birding sites.

Email addresses of folks in an Audubon chapter are often posted in this area or under the Board of Directors or other names where the "field trip coordinator" often is the most knowledgeable to float an email with your questions.

2. For example, using the first option above, I found a Masschusetts listserv posting from June, 2013 that could pertain to the current date and this month, July, when warblers first begin to disperse/migrate.

To wit: Check out the following photo. Do you think this group of YELLOW WARBLERS is already dispersing/migrating? I'd suggest they could be moving locally, but are not in full nightly flying mode yet. They might even be a family group, with three of the five first-year/hatch-year individuals.

(Source: http://www.whatbird.com/forum/index.php?/topic/102416-all-tree-swallows-yellow-warblers-starting-migration/)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Warbler Guy, now that it's summer, which warblers am I most likely to see after nesting? Do migrate in summer?

Good questions, Valerie (in New York City).

Depending on your location in North America, you may begin seeing warblers dispersing and migrating as early as late June, though July and August is the more common months to start seeing them away from their nesting areas.

For example, in the Midwest and East, Yellow Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, and Louisiana Waterthrush are well known to be early migrants. (I remember a few years ago reading of a bander who already captured on a returning Louisiana Waterthrush (below photo) on July 4th to its wintering grounds in the Bahamas.)



In the West, Orange-crowned Warbler often leave nesting grounds by early June. Some populations in coast California areas disperse upslope to the Sierra Nevada mountain range (and its foothill areas) to feed amid temporary "staging ground" areas before truly migrating in August and September.

Where I live in the San Francisco Bay area, Orange-crowned Warblers are still present amid their nesting grounds some cases, but the vast majority have already left their nesting areas — including some that have left for the Sierra.

Dawdling Orange-crowned individuals remain here, however, such as the males I heard singing today. It's possible these late-stayers may be re-nesting and, as a result, are still hosting recently hatched newborns.

Other nesting warbler species in my area — Common Yellowthroat, Black-throated Gray, Yellow-rumped, Wilson's, and Hermit — have also completed their nesting cycle, or will surely do so in most cases by no later than July.

That's why I'm now often forced to drive long distances to find these warblers in the mountains where songbird nesting remains vibrant.

Happy Birding to all, Daniel

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Warbler Guy, can you help me ID these warblers? Which app helps ID birds when I have photos?

Jessie, try looking at:

http://merlin.allaboutbirds.org/photo-id

As for your warbler photos, below, here's my opinion as to their identities (from top to bottom):

Orange-crowned, Nashville, Orange-crowned, Yellow-breasted Chat








Friday, May 29, 2015

Warbler Guy, has Kirtland's Warbler been seen this year in Wisconsin? Is it nesting again in 2015 within Wisconsin?

Yes, Dennis, Kirtland's Warbler has been reported on five ebird.org checklists noted at:

http://ebird.org/ebird/map/kirwar?neg=true&env.minX=&env.minY=&env.maxX=&env.maxY=&zh=false&gp=false&ev=Z&mr=1-12&bmo=1&emo=12&yr=cur&byr=2015&eyr=2015

Whether it's nesting in Wisconsin is still an open question, given I do not yet see the WI DNR or USFWS web sites indicating nesting presence in 2015.

Nonetheless, nesting success again in 2015 within Wisconsin is likely, given the last seven years have yielded nesting success in one or more state locations.

Check back here again soon and I'll have a more extensive update.

Of course, the annual nesting presence of Kirtland's in Michigan has repeated, as 10 or more of this state's counties have hosted this federally endangered species since monitoring efforts began.

One ongoing, perhaps annual nest in Ontario may also again host a nesting pair again in 2015, but I'll have to confirm this phenomenon. Again, please feel free to check back as more information becomes available that I am able to share here.

One related update offers a fascinating discovery:
A banded Kirtland's Warbler from Wisconsin has been recaptured in the Bahamas where this species spends the non-breeding season. See:

http://www.fws.gov/midwest/greenbay/endangered/kiwa/2015/UpdateApril2015.html


(Above, Kirtland's Warbler nestling receives color-bands at 5-6 days old, Adams County, Wisconsin.
Photo by Joel Trick.)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Warbler Guy, do you think Connecticut Warbler could appear as early as May 1st in northern Wisconsin?

It's possible, Joannie......Anomalous early arrivals occur among warbler species that typically show up later in the annual vanguard parade — Connecticut, Blackpoll, and Canada, during many years.

Then again, if you go to this year's ebird.org report for Connecticut, not one report I see in northern latitudes of the Upper Midwest is noted before 5/13/15, per:

http://ebird.org/ebird/map/conwar?neg=true&env.minX=-151.91499999999996&env.minY=11.58633002682991&env.maxX=-39.414999999999964&env.maxY=61.927969077338446&zh=true&gp=true&mr=1-12&bmo=1&emo=12&yr=2015-2015&byr=2015&eyr=2015



To see the arrival times and presence of other wood-warblers for this year's migration, see
Greg Miller's excellent page, per:

http://www.gregmillerbirding.com/birders-notebook-2/2013-where-are-the-eastern-wood-warblers-now/

Enjoy the warbler fun! Daniel

danieledelstein@att.net

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Warbler Guy, how do I know if warbler migration is strong? Migrating warblers are more dense on some spring days than other ones?

Fine question, Caren (in Austin).

I often use online radar to note spring migration trends.

One that is good: Birdcast



See:

http://birdcast.info/forecast/24-april-1-may-2015-forecast-and-thats-a-cold-shot-baby/

At this link, you'll read about the current week's presence of migrators and predictions.

It is a great resource, given the BirdCast forecast highlights migrant species that you can expect to see in each of several regions: Upper Midwest and Northeast; Gulf Coast and Southeast; Great Plains; and West. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Warbler Guy, what is the new warbler taxonomy? Why is the warbler family rearranged?

Those are great questions, Posey (in Seattle).



The best way for me to explain the answers is to point you to:

http://www.sibleyguides.com/2011/06/the-new-wood-warbler-taxonomy/

Here, you'll learn, for example, that the Parula, Wilsonia, and Dendroica genera have vanished, with their species merging into other genera.

There's also a link to a Q & A interview with Irby Lovette, who is the lead author and researcher that championed the taxonomy changes.