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:

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.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Warbler Guy, is The Warbler Guide any good? Do you think it's worth buying?

Anita (in Carbondale, IL): Full disclosure.....I received a copy of The Warbler Guide when it first appeared.

That written, I would have absolutely bought it, if necessary.

It is excellent.

Many review of this guide appear online, so I won't describe its virtues here.

But I will note the publisher recently creating some downloadable apps from the book that
may interest you at:

At this link, you'll find Quick Finder PDF or JPG files for quick ID of warblers. For example, one download PDF shows all the faces of warblers; another depicts all the warblers from a 45 degree view; another shows spring eastern warblers; and, yet another, portrays them in their fall plumages.

Hence, beyond the book, the publisher (Princeton University Press) continues to provide free extras at its web site, with the best link at:

As for my own recent warbler sleuthing, the spring on the West Coast has been fruitful so far.
March and early April arrivals of nesters in our area such as Hermit Warbler and Black-throated Gray Warbler have followed February appearances of returning nesters Wilson's Warbler and Orange-crowned Warbler.

Happy spring birding and warbler finding, Daniel

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Warbler Guy, is warbler migration early this year? Are early sightings of returning warblers occurring this spring?

Good question, Molly (in Palo Alto).

My N. CA/Marin County location provides a limited answer, but I believe reported sightings suggest, "yes," early arrival of returning warblers has happened in 2015.

For example, I noticed two to four week early arrival dates for WILSON'S, BLACK-THROATED GRAY, and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER in February and March, 2015.
Note, over-wintering sightings of these three species occurs, but the vast majority are absent in my area during the non-breeding season (i.e., they are seasonal/nesting residents only).

Likewise, a scan of ebird records for warbler arrival times in my area supports my contention.

As for the East and Midwest where warbler species (such Yellow-rumped and Palm Warbler and Louisiana Waterthrush) are just beginning to return to breeding territory, I have no information to share, sorry.

Meanwhile, other early arriving songbirds this season where I live have included Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Grasshopper Sparrow, Warbling Vireo, and Cassin's Vireo.

In fact, this winter was so warm and dry, it felt like spring. And, now, with spring arriving on the calendar, it feels more like summer (with today's temperature reaching 83° F....!)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Warbler Guy, where can I read about multiple warblers' nesting habits, warbler migration patterns, warbler songs, etc.?

Syd, you cannot go wrong by visiting:

This site features a comprehensive list of more than 720 North American species, with all of this area's Parulidae (warbler family) members present.

Yes, it costs money: $42 per year or $100 for three years.

Cannot recommend it enough.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Warbler Guy, where do I see a list of Rare Bird Alert posts for early returning migrants? Is there a composite bird listserv web site?

Sharlene (in New York), feel free to see:

I often use this site when traveling and wish to stay abreast of uncommon/rare bird addition to knowing where and when migrants (such as wood-warblers) are being seen.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Warbler Guy, when is Nashville Warbler seen in the San Francisco Bay area? Is Nashville Warbler common in the San Francisco Bay Area?

Jill (in Cupertino), Nashville Warbler is absent to uncommon in the San Francisco Bay area, though in late summer, autumn and winter several documented sightings exist.


October is the most common month for Nashville sightings to occur, with many reported from the Outer Point within Point Reyes National Seashore.

Currently, an ongoing Nashville is being seen in Bodega Bay (Sonoma County) next to Diekmann's Deli (vegetation below parking lot).

In total: Consider the Nashville Warbler as a transient/migrant in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Warbler Guy, is it true Kirkland's Warbler nests in Wisconsin annually? For how many years have nesting Kirkland's Warbler been found in Wisconsin?

Jimmy (in Fargo), in 2014, Kirtland's Warbler nested for the seventh consecutive nesting season in Wisconsin.
 A fine summary report is present at:

Highlights include noting 13 singing male Kirkland's were reported by monitors during the 2014 monitoring season in Wisconsin.

Three counties in Wisconsin hosted singing males, with one individual detected in Bayfield County, 1 in Marinette County, and 11 in Adams County.

Of course, a much larger population of this federally endangered songbird breeds annually in Michigan. Here, perhaps 500 Kirtland's Warbler are present during the breeding season, primarily in north/north-central Michigan counties.

In addition, one site in Ontario has also hosted recent breeding Kirkland's Warbler.