Monday, October 7, 2019

Warbler Guy, where are the most different kinds of warblers found? How many types or species of warblers exist? Are all warblers migratory or do some stay “close to home”...?

New World wood-warblers (that are not closely related to the various Old World warblers in the Eastern Hemisphere (e.g., Europe, Asia) are often identified to number as 112-115 species, occurring among 24-26 genera. The centers (or “epicenters”) of their breeding areas occur in eastern North America, the West Indies, Mexico and Central America, and Andean South America.



The majority of northern-latitude breeding species migrate, but many island and tropical species are sedentary. Many of these latter species remain close to their birthing areas or perform short-distance, post-breeding altitudinal/elevation migrations.

As for myself, I often see 20-30 wood-warbler species during early May when I return to homecoming birding forays in the Midwest (and, concurrently, attend the annual Wisconsin Society For Ornithology conference). This year, I was lucky to visit Wisconsin again on another week-long June jaunt similar areas in Door County, but achieved merely a single digit wood-warbler total. Likewise, my birding efforts in southern Wisconsin on my recent visit provided challenging warbler conditions, with Milwaukee County nearly devoid of warbler detections, except for probable nesting species such as American Redstart, Mourning Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, and Yellow Warbler.



In contrast, my n. CA residency, yields more warbler species during the breeding season — a result that surprises many people because the West is thought to host far fewer warbler species. For example, in Marin County (Bay Area) where I live, I often detect at least eight warbler species annually and, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains (near Yuba Pass and/or amid the Gold Lakes country off of Highway 49 near Bassetts), I sometimes successfully sleuth out nine warbler species.


Saturday, September 21, 2019

Warbler Photo Quiz..Can You Name These Warblers, Below?

Can you name each of the five warblers? (A helpful hint: not all the warblers in these photos are males.)


Check back by 9/29/19 for the answers....or email me at danieledelstein@att.net
warblerwatch.com


(See "Birding Links" pulldown menu for birding information)
warblerwatch.blogspot.com


Regards, Daniel


Consulting Avian Biologist


and


Birding Guide

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Trick Photo Quiz....Can You ID These Birds? Which One Is NOT a Warbler? To Which Does The Non-Warbler Belong?


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

(See FAR below for answers...Wish to Share and Tell this quiz with your birding friends....Thank you in advance, Daniel Edelstein, Birding Guide
warblerwatch.com)

(Photos courtesy of Martin Meyers.)





Answers from top to bottom: Prothonotary Warbler and Yellow-breasted Chat, with 
the latter now in the Icteriidae family. It's no longer in the wood-warbler family (Parulidae).

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Warbler Guy: Now that "fall" southbound migration has begun, where's a GREAT web site to check rare bird sightings in the area where I live? Where I plan to bird soon on my upcoming birding vacation?

Stacey, great question, and here's a new web site where you can read rare bird reports corresponding to any USA state (to which you might travel for birding and wish to know which "cool" bird species are potential "hot" draws for you and other birders to sleuth out:

http://birding.aba.org

Jeff Gordon, the American Birding Association's (ABA) Executive Director, noted the importance of this new web site in the following linked article that goes to the ABA's web site where the latest rare bird report is featured at:

http://blog.aba.org/2019/08/rare-bird-alert-august-16-2019.html

In this article, Jeff mentions the new web site goes beyond serving as a posting site for rarities.

I hope this helps (?)

Regards, 

Daniel Edelstein 

Birding Guide,

Consulting Avian Biologist (who possesses five survey permits) (USFWS permit # TE101743-0)

&

Certified Wildlife Biologist Assc
(Surveys, Permitting, Regulatory Services)

12 Kingfisher Ct. 
Novato, CA 94949 

415-382-1827 (O) 415-246-5404 (iPhone) 

warblerwatch.com 
(hosts my resume) 

warblerwatch.blogspot.com
(My 12-year-old warbler-centric blog, featuring articles, warbler news, & photo quizzes)





Saturday, August 3, 2019

Are Pt. Reyes & the Farallon Islands the best W. Coast spots to see E. Coast vagrant warblers? Is it rare to see CT Warbler in CA?

Excellent questions, Jason. Answers: 1. The book “Rare Birds of California” is an fine resource for your questions. 

CT Warbler is a rare vagrant at the spots you mention, though it’s also been recorded as a vagrant from s. British Columbia south to n. Baja CA. Vagrants have also been seen in C. America and the western Caribbean. The initial confirmed record of CT in California was a spring male collectedon June 16, 1958 on southeast Farallon Island, a location that claims first state records of five other wood-warbler species.



(Above: Connecticut Warbler, courtesy of Wikipedia)

True fact (that is amazing): More than half of CA’s CT sightings originate from one rock on southeast Farallon Island.

Vagrant (“accidental”) warbler species are NEVER common on the West Coast, but they are always annually seen. Point Reyes National Seashore is often a fine place to see them in September and October, especially within Monterey Cypress groves that occur sporadically within and near ranches on the way to the Outer Point/Lighthouse area within the park. Foggy/cloudy days are often the best conditions to see “layover” individuals. Some of the best areas to visit in pursuit of vagrant East Coast warblers here include the Drakes Beach, Chimney Rock, and Lighthouse areas.

To find this location, contact the park's rangers or email me: danieledelstein@att.net

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Warbler Guy, do wood-warblers start migrating in late summer? Fall warbler migration begins when? Warbler migration in autumn starts in August? What about warbler dispersal vs. warbler migration? What's the difference?

Joey (in Chicago):

Interesting questions that you pose.

First, migration is different than dispersal.

Dispersal is post-nesting behavior when birds remain in the area where they bred, but have not yet migrated. Foraging is the principal activity, say, in July or August for these birds. Molting may be included as a post-breeding phenomenon for some dispersing individuals.

Migrating is moving with purpose to non-breeding grounds away from where birds spent the breeding season. Hence, true northern hemisphere neotropical migrant bird species migrate after breeding to non-breeding grounds before again looping back north again the following spring.

Seeking even more details about this subject? Please read below at the * area.

(* = Dispersal begins earlier than migration. Fledgings leave the nest and begin their independent lives while foraging BEFORE eventually migrating. So newborns may linger in an area near where they were born. By mid- to late-August at upper Midwest latitudes, some begin to migrate south while other species -- such as American Redstart, Palm Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, among others — may have a protracted migration. These three species are among the latest to leave northern latitudes, with some Yellow-rumped and Palm remaining through November and December -- and, in recent years, some of both species persisting through Christmas Bird Count surveys in the upper Midwest (and even remaining throughout the winter in some cases). Pine Warbler may also persist late while sometimes feeding at seed feeders after an insect fauna is depleted with freezing temperatures.)

Now, let's discuss breeding vs. non-breeding ranges of wood-warbler species.

A nice resource to read about breeding vs. non-breeding ground ranges of wood-warblers is in Warblers (the field guide from 1998 by Jon Dunn and Kimball Garrett). Its information is dated in spots, but most of the text remains valid. As a more updated complement, I also refer to the fantastic The Warbler Guide (Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle, Princeton University Press, 2013). This guide's range maps for migration and breeding/non-breeding ranges more accurate in some cases than Warblers, with more comprehensive photos for each species. You won't be sorry for purchasing both books.

Now, here's an illuminating example that incorporates the above information.

It's a past report from Ryan Brady, an ornithologist/bird researcher/scientist for the Wisconsin DNR. His late summer list of is below. See his list of 20 wood-warbler species that he noticed on 8/29/17 near Bayfield/Washburn, WI (near Lake Superior): (Then see more of my commentary, below.)



From: Ryan Brady <ryanbrady10@hotmail.com>
Subject: [wisb] 20 warbler sp. - Bayfield County
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2017 01:50:37 +0000

An excellent flight last night brought 20 species of warblers to the trails around my property this morning, including Golden-winged, Blackpolls, Bay-breasteds, Mournings, Palms, Pine, and more. Thrushes were on the move in the morning fog, yielding some Swainson's and my first Gray-cheekeds of the fall. Also had my first Lincoln's Sparrow and a nice push of 3 Yellow-bellied Flycatchers.

Full eBird checklist at http://ebird.org/ebird/wi/view/checklist/S38887593


Ryan Brady
Washburn, Bayfield County, WI
http://www.pbase.com/rbrady

I hope these answer your questions, Joey?

In closing:

It's time for the D & M Show, so to speak (Dispersal & Migration Show.....(!) ).

Enjoy the birding, everyone....

Regards, Daniel
warblerwatch.com (hosts my "Birding Tours" that I have led as a Birding Guide since the 1980s

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Warbler Guy, where are warbler photos best found on the Web? Where may I compare and contrast warbler images online?

Jason (in Buffalo), I recommend the web site operated by Giff Beaton in Georgia.

Giff's "Warblers" site is found at:

http://www.giffbeaton.com/warblers.htm

(male Magnolia Warbler, below)



Recent systematic name changes in the warbler family are also present in the way Giff organizes his photos, so information is updated according to the latest American Ornithological Union (AOU) decisions.

His site also features links to bird-related sites; information and photos related to dragonflies and insects; and links to other nature topics (See: http://www.giffbeaton.com/index.html)