Friday, July 6, 2018

Warbler Guy, which warbler species remain in the USA during the non-breeding season?

Bridget, the answer to your question won’t take you long to read.

Among the breeding 52 North American wood-warblers, only a minority occasionally to annually occur in the USA during the non-breeding season:
- Common Yellowthroat (see photo, below)
- Black-throated Green (Florida and Texas, as the most typical places)
- Northern Parula
- Pine
- Orange-crowned (south Channel Islands, CA and along the California coast)
- Yellow-throated (southeast USA)
- Tropical Parula (in the extreme southern portion of Texas)
- Prairie (a subspecies in south Florida)
- Painted Redstart (southeast Arizona)

South of the USA, here’s some more North American wood-warblers that have non-migratory populations breeding as far north as Mexico:
- Belding’s Yellowthroat (Baja only)
- Bahama Yellowthroat
- Gray-crowned Yellowthroat
- Slate-Throated Redstart
- Crescent-Chested
- Fan-tailed Warbler
- Golden-crowned Warbler
- Rufous-capped Warbler

A few other species are reported rarely to irregularly after the breeding season in the USA, and, thus, could potentially be individuals that remain in the USA during a portion or throughout their brief lives, including:

- Tennessee
- American Redstart
- Nashville

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Warbler Guy, what's your next class at Merritt College? Answer: "Fundamentals Of Ornithology & Birding In Central CA" (Sept. 18 - Oct. 20, 2018 Class)

Animated, Dynamic Slide Show • Info. Handouts
• Resources/Bibliographies • Field trips

(Carpooling? Yes. Free binoculars: Yes. High-powered spotting scope?: Yes)

. . . . emphasis on fundamental of ornithology: anatomy, behavior, song ecology, migration, nesting, life cycle information, and field identification

(* = Note: 4 field trips to prime, ideal birding spots in the SF Bay Area)
Register: (or call 510-208-7225): BIOL 80C (code 44361)
1.5 units.

            Slide show lecture: Sept. 18 (7-9:50 pm)

            4 field trips: Sept. 30 and Oct. 6, 13, and 20, 2018 (9 am - 2:50 pm)
Email questions to this Avian Biologist & Certified Wildlife Biologist Asc. 

Learn about Daniel’s 25+ years of birding experience and leading bird tours since the 1990s at:

His birding presentations/tours have occurred in 20+ states.

See his blogs: &

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Warbler Guy: Is the Yellow-Breasted Chat still a wood-warbler? Or did it get “kicked out” of its family? Why is the chat a wood-warbler?

Thanks for the question, Mary.

After many years of debate, the AOS (American Ornithological Society) in 2017 moved the yellow-breasted chat (Icteria virens) to the Icteriidae. It is the only member of this family.

As you may know, this seven-inch songbird was once a member of the New World warbler family (Parulidae)

The reorganization does not end the controversy among researchers. Several still believe blood analysis suggests the chat should remain in the Parulidae.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Warbler Guy, does the spring Blackpoll Warbler migration distance equal its long distance trek in the fall?

Yes, Amy (in Baton Rouge), for some populations, Blackpoll’s north and southward migration routes are likely the longest of all wood-warbler family members. 

In the spring, populations travel north over the Gulf of Mexico before reaching the USA. Some eventually reach as far north as Alaska where they nest.

The well-noted 2,150 autumn migration distance some New England Blackpoll partake in the autumn as trans-ocean migrants is a breathtaking marvel. 

Seventy-two to 90 continuous hours of migration over the ocean by a half-ounce bird seems an impossible feat. But imagine the current spring-time migrants (see graphic, courtesy of the and the map created by eNature, which is supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts). Some travel 100-150 miles per night, with some doing so for weeks and eventually reaching Alaska after beginning their path in n. South America. Equally awe-inspiring, correct?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Join Me On My Upcoming Tanzania "Birds & Big Game" Tour (2/1 - 2/13/19)

Coordinated by an experienced, reputable travel tour firm -- Travels With Teri -- here's the summary of a majestic tour that I'm co-leading with an excellent Tanzania ornithologist & tour guide: (After reviewing, I'd be glad to send you the itinerary and other please feel free to contact me at

Timed to experience the best of Tanzania’s Birds & Big Game species, join Avian Biologist and birding guide Daniel Edelstein & Tanzanian Ornithologist Edwin Osujaki for this February 1-13, 2019 tour of prime-time game reserves and birding spots in Tanzania. You’ll encounter calving wildebeest and zebra during their Great Migration across the Serengeti Plains, in addition to likely sightings of the African “Big Five”: the African lion, the African leopard, the African elephant, the Cape buffalo, and the rhino (either white or black).

Expect to see millions of flamingos, while also enjoying Secretarybird, Vulturine Guineafowl, Grey-breasted Spurfowl, Fischer’s & Yellowed-collared Lovebird, Golden-breasted & Ashy Starling, Rufous-tailed Weaver, Kori Bustard, Bar-tailed Trogon, and Golden-winged Sunbird. The duel focus on birds and mammals will be a photographer’s dream, while birders will be pleased with visits to diverse habitats — forests, lakes, and savannas — that teem with rare and endemic species.

Space is limited to 10 people.

Note that Travels With Teri is a certified travel agency based in Petaluma, CA

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Warbler Guy, which wood-warblers are endemic nesters to the continental U.S.?

Not many, Giselle, as only the Swainson’s, Virginia’s, Kentucky, Hermit, Golden-cheeked, and Yellow-throated Warbler have breeding ranges limited to areas within the lower 48 states.

To clarify, the Blackpoll Warbler does not qualify as an endemic nester to the continental U.S. because it breeds extensively in latitudes north (and into Canada) of the places where it breeds in the northern U.S.

(Below photo shows a male Kentucky Warbler.)

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Warbler Guy, is there a good warbler app? An app featuring warbler photos?

Yes, Avrial (in Miami):

I recommend the new warbler app from Princeton University Press.

The one I like is complementary to The Warbler Guide.

I copied and pasted from the Press's web site the following information:

The Warbler Guide App is the perfect companion to Princeton’s revolutionary and widely acclaimed book The Warbler Guide, by Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle. Taking full advantage of the Apple iOS® platform, the app allows you to identify birds by view or song, quickly and intuitively.

Exciting new 3D graphics enable you to view a bird from the exact angle you see it in the field. And the whole range of warbler songs is easily played, compared, and filtered. Whether for study or field use, this innovative app delivers the full power of The Warbler Guide in your pocket, built from the ground up for the Apple iOS® platform, and complete with unique new app-only features.

Breakthrough features from The Warbler Guide book that are included in the app:
  • Rapid and confident two-step ID process using visual finders and comparison species
  • The first complete treatment of warbler songs, using a new objective vocabulary
  • An intuitive visual finder that includes side, 45 degree, and undertail views
  • Master Pages with detailed ID points
  • Complete guide to determining the age and sex of warblers with photos of all ages and sexes
  • Annotated sonograms showing song structure and key ID points
  • Complete songs, chip calls, and flight calls for all species
  • Comparison species for making confident visual and audio IDs
  • Many additional photos to show behavior and reinforce key ID points
  • Highlighted diagnostic ID points
  • Color Impression Icons for narrowing down ID of warblers from the briefest glimpses
  • Behavior and habitat icons

Unique new app-only features:
  • 3D models of birds in all plumages, rotatable and pinch-zoomable to match field experience of a bird
  • Intuitive, visual, and interactive finders with filters for possible species based on audio and visual criteria chosen by the user
  • Playback of all songs and vocalizations with sonograms makes study of vocalizations easy
  • iPhone® and iPad® versions let you take these useful tools into the field
  • Selectable finder sortings grouped by color, alphabetical order, song type, and taxonomic order
  • Interactive song finder using objective vocabulary for fast ID of unknown songs
  • Simultaneous visual and song finders makes identifying an unknown warbler even easier
  • Half-speed song playback allows for easier study of song structure
  • Comparison species with selectable side, 45 degree, and undertail views
  • Features 75 3D images
  • Covers 48 species and 75 plumages
  • Includes 277 vocalizations, 156 songs, 73 contact calls, and 48 flight calls