Thursday, July 31, 2014

Any recent warbler name changes, Warbler Guy? Is the new 2014 AOU Check-list Supplement published yet?

Randy, please see:

No significant N. America wood-warbler taxonomic changes have occurred except for the Arctic Warbler. (Read the link for more information.)

To me, the most interesting development was a restructuring of the King and Clapper Rail complex.

To wit, on the West Coast where I live the Clapper Rail is now Ridgway's Clapper Rail.
It contains three subspecies: the California (obsoletus), Yuma (yumanensis) and Light-footed (levipes).

Per the above link, the name "Clapper Rail" remains the same for the East Coast version of this bird, but its scientific name changed (to Rallus crepitans).

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Warbler Guy, which warblers are the most confusing to identify because they look like other species? Any tips to identify look-alike warblers?

Jamie (in Boston), I like the pictorial guide to confusing look-alike species in The Warbler Guide
("Comparison Species" corresponding to each warbler account and, in addition, pages 512-519 within the "Similar Non-Warbler Species" section).

(Orange-crowned Warbler is shown above.)

In this section, photographs of these look-alike birds feature both Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglet, Bushtit, Verdin, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Black-Capped Chickadee, Blue-headed (and Plumbeous and Cassin's) Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Warbler Vireo, Philadelphia Vireo, Bell's Vireo, Sparrow species, and Eastern Towhee.

This field guide is excellent and recommend it for many other outstanding features that few other field guides host.

Happy Summer, Daniel

Friday, June 20, 2014

Warbler Guy, how do I use ebird to see where and when Kirtland's Warbler was last seen in Wisconsin? Can you tell me where Kirtland's Warbler was seen in 2014 in Wisconsin?

Sure, Jo...Good question.

Go to:

Here, from a May 23rd sighting, you can see Jan Seiler's comment about her Kirtland's Warbler observation:

On a Wisconsin Natural Resources trip, two (male and female) Kirtland's were seen by a group of 10 participants. Male was singing from top of dead tree, female appeared briefly close-by.

Here sighting along with other recent ones in Wisconsin mean this rare species has now nested in the state for seven or eight consecutive nesting seasons since the mid-2000s when they were initially confirmed as nesters.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Warbler Guy, your last post prompted me to wonder: What's being done to save Kirtland's Warbler?

Jonny (in Ann Arbor, MI)......Fine question.

Here's a link to a web site that is raising money that, in combination with ongoing management efforts by the USFWS, is helping maintain essential, suitable habitat for this species to successfully nest in Wisconsin and Michigan:

Here, you'll learn about the Kirtland's Warbler Initiative:

Kirtland's Warbler Initiative

The Kirtland's Warbler Initiative is building the support network necessary to delist the species from the Endangered Species List and ensuring the warbler continues to thrive into the future.
“In the discipline of conservation, there is no greater achievement that ‘Recovery’The Kirtland’s warbler is the first bird species to recover as a result of traditional habitat and conservation methods andit offers us a path forward for nearly all endangered species.”
~John Curry, Former Assistant Director, Central Partnership Office, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
- See more at:

Please feel free to donate money to this group, per the web site's instruction.

Regards and now back to warbler sleuthing....Daniel

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Warbler Guy, have Kirtland's Warbler appeared in Wisconsin yet in 2014? Where do Kirtland's Warbler nest in Wisconsin each year?

Andrea, I haven't yet heard of WI reports that Kirtland's has returned for a 7th consecutive breeding season in the Badger state.

Michigan birders have already reported this federally endangered species has returned, given a sighting noted at:

As for where Kirtland's nests in WI, please see the graphic image, below...It shows the counties where Kirtland's nested last year in Wisconsin......The photo is a newborn Kirtland's (courtesy of Joel Trick).

Enjoy the birding, Daniel

Friday, May 23, 2014

Warbler Guy, how do I see Kirtland's Warbler? Are Kirtland's Warbler tours available?

Lori, you've come to the correct place, as check out the following link to register for a Michigan tour to see Kirtland's Warbler: (Details for guided tours appearing below are also at the link in the next line.)

Guided Tours of KIWA Breeding Habitat

Michigan Audubon employs a seasonal guide to lead Kirtland's Warbler tours from Grayling, MI, working in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The tours for 2014 will be based at Hartwick Pines State Park just north of downtown Grayling. These tours are free of charge, but you must have a Recreation Pass to enter the State Park. If you are a Michigan resident and do not have a Recreation Pass, you will be required to purchase one (current fee is $11). If you are not a resident of Michigan, a daily pass will cost $9 or an annual pass is $31.
Reservations are only required for groups of more than 5 individuals.
Tours will meet at the Michigan Forest Visitor Center within Hartwick Pines State Park where participants are given a brief orientation to the Kirtland's Warbler and the Jack Pine habitat. Afterwards, participants caravan to protected pine barrens for the chance to view the endangered warbler.
Tours begin May 15 and are scheduled daily at 7:00 a.m. On weekends and holidays (Memorial Day and 4th of July) there will also be tours at 11:00 a.m. The last day tours will be offered is Independence Day.
The entrance to Hartwick Pines State Park and the Michigan Forest Visitor Center is located on Hartwick Pines Road (aka M-93) just east of I-75. A map and detailed information regarding Hartwick Pines can be found on the Michigan DNR Website.
Tour duration: 2.5 to 3 hours.
We have a high success rate of seeing the Kirtland's Warbler. Weather plays an important role in seeing the bird, as they tend to stay down in the pine branches during inclement weather and severe heat. Our guides have even been able to locate the bird during inclement weather, so don't cancel your plans because the sun isn't shining.
Please be advised that you will park along the road and walk into the Jack Pine habitat on sand trails. Walking distance is usually less than one mile. The distance of foot travel will depend on where in the Jack Pine the birds establish their territory for the nesting season.
Out of respect for the bird and its well being our guide will not make special accommodations for professional photographers.
For additional information regarding the tours, or to schedule a group reservation, send Mallory King an e-mail or call her at the Michigan Audubon office (517) 641-4277.

Volunteering for Surveys

Michigan Audubon is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service to survey Michigan's Upper Peninsula for nesting Kirtland's Warblers. Kirtland's Warblers have been growing in numbers and have recently expanded their range into Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Volunteer surveyors are coordinated by the Conservation Director. If you are interested in volunteering, surveys take place annually during the second week of June.
Thomas Funke
Conservation Director

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Warbler Guy, do wood-warblers travel the same route area going north in spring as they do going south after nesting?

That's a fine question, Aaron (in Minneapolis).....but a long(winded) answer that I'll spare you reading.

Instead, the short answer: For some wood-warbler species, their routes change from northward to southward migration (or vice-versa), depending on the species.

Consider the Blackpoll Warbler.

An excellent graphic/video shows the change in route of this species in the spring from more Midwestern in flavor to a post-nesting aftertaste whereby migration in the fall is much more easterly, via:

Got more questions? I'm glad to answer them if you email me at:

Happy spring, Daniel Edelstein