Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Warbler Guy, are any new "splits" or "lumps" of species proposed for birds this year? Will the annual American Ornithologists' Union name changes happen soon?

Norm (in Manhattan):

GREAT question and the best answer for Warbler-Philes is an easy one: No wood-warbler family (Parulidae) changes proposed, BUT (drum roll for Corvid and Fringillid fans):

- "Woodhouse" Western Scrub-Jay subspecies could be elevated to species rank, per a current proposal; and

- Lump of Common and Hoary Redpoll is also in the proposal stage.

That's your "elevator" pitch summary, if you wish the simple answer.

There's more details for other taxa/proposals, below....and ALSO at the following link:


Friday, April 22, 2016

Warbler Guy, how about an update on new warbler names? Any names for warblers change recently?

That's a great question, Erica (in Reno).

No proposed wood-warbler names or lumping/splitting of the current taxonomy in the wood-warbler family (Parulidae) that I can detect.

See the below web site link # if you’re interested in current proposals the American Ornithologists' Union (AOU) may approve/disapprove by July, 2016.

Regards to all, Daniel Edelstein

warblerwatch.com (for free birding information as well as my "Birding Tours" overview at the home page)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

#7 WOOD-WARBLER Photo Quiz (Quiz Yourself, If You Please)

#7: WOOD-WARBLER Photo Quiz (Quiz Yourself, If You Please)

Can you identify the wood-warbler species in the five (5) photos, above?

(Hint: There only four total species among the five photos.)

Answers will be posted here in my next article that will appear no later than 1/5/10. Please check back, in addition to noting my "2016 Nature Watch Calendar" at:


Regards, Daniel
415-382-1827 (CA/PT)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Answer To Current Quiz In Right Column Here: BELOW (Drum Roll.....)

....Wilson's Warbler....More details related to this question follow:

Although a few Wilson's Warbler remain during the non-breeding season in the SF Bay Area/N. CA, the vast majority are neotropical migrants that vacate the area and typically begin returning AFTER Orange-crowned Warbler return as the area's INITIAL returning nesting wood-warbler species.

(Above, Wilson's Warbler)

The above note is an oversimplification of a more complex dynamic......given some Orange-crowned Warbler individuals ALSO remain during the non-breeding season.

Hence, in general, the order of returning wood-warbler species beginning in February annually:

1. Orange-crowned

2. Wilson's

3. Black-throated Gray

4. Yellow, Hermit, Yellow-breasted Chat, MacGillivray's (various order of appearance depending on the year.....though, usually, they are later than #1-#3, above).

Nashville also pass through, sometimes, but they do NOT typically nest along the coast.

What about Northern Parula you ask? Indeed, for at least three consecutive years, a documented nesting site was detected in W. Marin Co. (near SF).....but I would hesitate to suggest this species is annual in the Bay Area.

Please feel free to correct me if you have different information.

I'm always glad to be updated. Regards and happy spring birding, Daniel

warblerwatch.com (hosts my "Birding Tours" information related to my birding tour services that include 7 trips in April and several more in May both in N. CA and in Wisconsin, given I'll be co-leading trips at the annual Wisconsin Society for Ornithology conference.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Warbler Guy, I saw your San Francisco birding tours note you have seen nesting warblers in the San Francisco Bay Area. The San Francisco Bay Area has warblers nesting here?

Horatio (in Sunnyvale, CA):

Yes, depending on your perch in the SF Bay Area, there's both resident, year-round wood-warbler species as well as neotropical migrants that return annually to nest here.

The following list, below, is a simplified, non-detailed overview of the nesters in Marin County without providing details:

(Note the * = nester as a spring/summer resident and # = a year-round nester that is resident year-round. In addition, it's important to realize that a few individuals of all wood-warblers in the Bay Area may persist throughout the non-breeding season (though the vast bulk of the * species vacate the Bay Area during the non-breeding season. + = non-breeding season resident only).

* and # Common Yellowthroat (with much of the area hosting two subspecies, including the CA Species of Special concern sinuosa subspecies)

* Yellow Warbler

* Orange-crowned Warbler (Note this species persists in small numbers throughout the "winter," but the large pulse of returning nesters begins in February and peaks in March.)

* Wilson's Warbler

* Yellow-rumped Warbler (ALSO note: LARGE numbers present during the non-breeding season at low elevations, but most of the nesters occur at higher altitudes in select Bay Area locations only.)

* Hermit Warbler

* Black-throated Gray Warbler

* Yellow-breasted Chat (extirpated from portions of its previous breeding range)

* MacGillivray's Warbler

Townsend's Warbler 

Regards to you Horatio and all warbler seekers of this special family....Daniel

warblerwatch.com (hosts my bird guiding and birding tour information via the "Birding Tours" section)

415-382-1827, Novato, CA

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Warbler Guy, I saw a nectar-drinking warbler at my feeder? Which warblers drink nectar? Warblers act like hummingbirds?

"Yes," Stevie (in Orlando):

Although it sounds strange, a few warbler species visit hummingbird feeders, including
Orange-crowned, Nashville, Virginia, Yellow, Black-throated Green, Prothonotary, and Cape May.

(Above, Orange-crowned Warbler feeding at a hummingbird feeder)

The initial above three species tend to have longer bills that are adapted to successfully obtain
the sweet elixir (that provides them supplementary carbohydrates beyond the protein-rich insects they seek).

Cape May, by the way, even gobbles jelly birders serve to tanagers and orioles in their yards — so be on the watch for warblers at your bird feeders, folks.

Or simply grab your binoculars and enjoy a walk down your favorite trail.

Look for our fine-colored feathered friends that winging their way north, with the imminent return of several likely in the southeast, Mid-atlantic, and, yes, even the upper Midwest where a few anomalous Yellow-rumped Warblers are already present (as over-wintering individuals or early returning migrants by the end of March/early April).

Happy birding to you, Daniel

warblerwatch.com {features several free birding information handouts (including some excellent articles by David Sibley) via my "Birding Links" area and information about my 25+ years of birding tours and bird guiding services (via my "Birding Tours" area)}

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Warbler Guy, you teach classes at Merritt College, I see (with a Google search)...correct?

Yes, Aundra, and thanks for the plug.

Here's a "copy and paste" from my Daniel's Merritt College Classes blog about my upcoming 2016 class:

Raptors Of The Bay Area: September 8 - early November, 2016 (1 lecture & 6 all-day field trips)

SOON AT A (MERRITT) COLLEGE NEAR YOU: (merritt.edu) (September, 2016)

Raptors Of The Bay Area And Central CA (see p. 124 at the college’s catalog for BIO 80A; this class begins 9/8/16 as a slide show/lecture introduction, then six all-day Saturday field trips occur in Sept., Oct., and Nov., 2016; register at merritt.edu beginning in April or May, 2016).

(below, 2nd or 3rd year sub-adult Golden Eagle)

Details For This Two-Month Class (One slide show/lecture; six all-day field trips):

- Thursday, 9/8/16: 7 pm - 9:50 pm slide show features 19 SF Bay Area raptors we may see during our six all-day September, October, and November, 2016 field trips;

- Five all-day Saturday field trips: 9/10, 9/24, 10/1, 10/8, 10/22, and 11/5/16
(e.g., Hawk Hill in Sausalito, Scaggs Island (off Highway 37), Altamont area (Golden Eagle breeding "epicenter"/activity center), etc.)

Focus Of Class/Purpose: 

We'll explore: a) the ecology/life cycle of raptors; b) migration; c) identification tips for the 19 potential species that either nest or migrate through the SF Bay Area annually.

About The Instructor:

A Merritt College ornithology instructor since 2003 — and a leader of birding outings since 1984 — Daniel (M.S., Natural Resources) is a freelance Certified Wildlife Biologist Associate. He regularly conducts bird surveys for common and rare species and possesses five survey permits. His popular website highlights northern California birds (see "Birding Links" area) at warblerwatch.com (His eight-year-old wood-warbler blog hosts articles, quizzes, and photos at http://warblerwatch.blogspot.com)
Questions? Please let me know at danieedelstein@att.net