Friday, November 27, 2015

Warbler Guy, are there any New World warblers that occur in their own family and where shall I look?

The Olive Warbler, Peucedramus taeniatus , is a small passerine bird. It is the only member of the genus Peucedramus and the family Peucedramidae.                      

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Answers: Latest Fab Four Warbler Photo Quiz From 9/10/15 Post (right side column here)

Here's the answer for those folks who voted at the latest quiz (right side column referring
to the 9/10/15 photo quiz that you can see by scrolling down to that date where the four photos appear).


From top to bottom photo, the images are these wood-warbler species (that I am lucky to see
while birding in WI, (and, to "impress" birders that I guide on a tour the songs of these species are some of the more easier ones to distinguish in the Parulidae/wood-warbler family):

Yellow-breasted Chat (in weird light, I agree: Its breast looks orange and NOT yellow!)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Warbler Guy, where can I read about nesting warblers? Get warbler information? Learn about warbler migration for each warbler species; Identify mystery warblers by reading about them?

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.

Thumbs up. Way up. 

2. The Warbler Guide (2012, Tom Stephenson & Scott Whittle, Princeton University Press)

Comprehensive. A-1. Look on Amazon or many blog site that review this excellent field guide.

Email me with any warbler questions, of course, as I read this guide regularly....and I'm glad to answer your warbler questions:  danieledelstein@ (Feel free to see my "Warbler Tips ID Charts" at my Birding Links area at my home page.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Is it possible to distinguish the call notes of Audubon’s vs. Myrtle Yellow-rumped Warbler during the non-breeding season where they occur together?


Seeing is believing when identifying (patiently!) an Audubon’s vs. Myrtle Yellow-Rumped Warbler.

But sometimes you only hear an obvious Yellow-rumped Warbler chip note.

At least I do.

Then, the Mind Game is to ask myself: Is that an Audubon’s or Myrtle subspecies within the species of Yellow-rumped?

Difficult decision (!)

And consider your antenna first-rate, premium, high-octane — if you can tell the difference between these two call notes and confidently exclaim: “That’s an Audubon’s” (Or “Eureka, trust me: that’s a Myrtle chip note.”

(Above: An Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler subspecies (in breeding plumage) appears in the top photo. A non-breeding view of a Myrtle Yellow-rumped Warbler subspecies is below the Audubons'.)


Why do you need to tell one chip note vs. the other to know if it’s an Audubon’s vs. a Myrtle?

Because, of course, most Yellow-rumpeds are NOT singing during the non-breeding season, but you do often hear their loud chip or call notes from October – April when they’re in my area (San Francisco Bay Area where I am a Birding Guide in Marin County).

In many cases you can hear how the Myrtle (one of the subspecies of the Yellow-rumped Warbler species) has a flatter and softer chip note than the Audubon’s.

The “ch” component of the call note is weaker for the Myrtle and it often gives many calls in rapid succession.

However, be careful. Intergrades (individuals that display visual characteristics specific to both Audubon’s and Myrtle) may announce call notes of the other subspecies. In other words, it’s possible to see a bird that looks like an Audubon’s, but it’s call note sounds like a Myrtle. This individual could likely be an intergrade.

Of course, once you hear a Yellow-rumped chip note, go find it.

Then you can truly tell the difference in the two subspecies by their appearance: In general, the Myrtle male is told by its white throat that wraps farther around toward the back of the head/nape....while the Audubon’s male has a yellow throat. Note the Myrtle often also displays a slight white supercilium or eyebrow at the front of the head, whereas the Audubon’s head is plain and gray throughout.

Questions? Let the Warbler Guy know, please:

My web site for warbler questions, warbler information, warbler quizzes:

My bird guiding in California and birding tours in California information: via the Birding Tours button at the home page.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Any suggestions for warbler identification tips, Warbler Guy? I know that's general to ask, but identification of warblers is simply challenging #@%#!

I'll be glad to share tips....Let me do so more extensively soon, but for now, please note:
(Graphic, below, courtesy of, via Univ. of Princeton Press that published the amazing and worthwhile-to-purchase: "The Warbler Guide." Thumbs up.)

Warbler Tips Identification Chart

Not sure of a wood-warber's identification?

It looks similar to another species?

Feel free to see my "Warbler Tips Identification" Chart that appears as a button at my Web site:

Sunday, September 27, 2015

What happens to vagrant warblers at Point Reyes and other migrant traps that jut southward into the open Pacific? Do most of them manage to redirect themselves back to the coast and make their way south in the morning? Or does their misorientation lead many of them to a watery death far out at sea, unless they should choose to winter on the mainland?

Good question, Joshua, as now is the prime time to see vagrant (accidental arrival) warblers at the Outer Point within Pt. Reyes National Seashore, Marin Co., CA.

Given this is a venue to which I often guide birders that enjoy a foray with me, the best time to see vagrants is now and through October. (The typical range of seeing so-called East Coast & Midwestern warblers out of range and as vagrants on the West Coast at the Outer Point is, generally, August - October (though the peak weeks tend to be mid-September through mid-October, varying by year).

In any event, to answer the gentleman's question from above....

I bow to several resources as evidence for the answer:

The majority of warblers meet a sad fate after you see them at the Outer Point area:
Neverland is their destiny, given they often keep flying over the ocean.
Their R.I.P. epitaph is simply a tuckered and tired path to oblivion. Sad, as I wrote.

Rich Stallcup, bless our passed ornithological mentor and bellweather pioneer in myriad ways,
often posited the above note about the sad death of warblers after they hang out temporarily at the Outer Point (most noticeably amid Monterey Cypress trees that offer shelter and food resources amid the dairy/ag farms dominating the Outer Point landscape).

More details to follow, if you wish to check back.

Meanwhile, it's birding in WI today: the goal is migrating warblers, of course....but, also, a change of taxon: Nelson's Sparrow has been hanging out at Lake Barney near Madison, so I'm a sleuth with some friends. Wish us luck on our foray.

Regards, Daniel

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Warbler Photo Quiz: 3 Easy Ones & 1 More Challenging Photo. . .

. . . & good day. . . & who wishes to vote on the ID of the following four wood-warbler photos, BELOW?

(See right column where you can vote far into 2016, so feel free to please Share & Tell this quiz with your birding friends....Thank you in advance, Daniel Edelstein, Birding Guide

(Other photo quizzes are present here if you type "quiz" in the "search box" on the right side after scrolling down....or you can type in any other warbler topic of interest to find it among the 8 years of warbler content present here.)

(Photos courtesy of Martin Meyers.)