Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Warbler Guy, do you think the Myrtle and Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler subspecies will be designated new species?

Mari (in Phoenix), it's an interesting question that continues to be debated as researchers
examine the DNA of the two subspecies, among other elements.

Currently, the defining organization for this question — the American Ornithologists' Union (AOU) — does not have a new proposal to entertain a split that would result in species status for Myrtle and Audubon's. In fact, in recent years, an AOU committee turned down a proposal to create species status for more than Myrtle and Audubon's, but also, perhaps, Black-fronted and Goldman's subspecies within the Yellow-rumped complex.

For more current information, the following link is worth reading:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/goodbye-yellow-rump-will-we-see-a-return-to-myrtle-and-audubons-warblers/

I'll provide more updates on this question as I learn of new information.

Regards to all, Daniel

Birding Guide
warblerwatch.com

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Warbler Guy, where can I find Rare Bird Alert posts throughout the USA? Are warblers on Rare Bird Alert posts?

Candi (in Phoenix):

I recommend you peruse http://birdingonthe.net/hotmail.html

Here, by region, you can choose which Rare Bird Alert to read.

For example, where I live in the West, it's exciting to note that a non-warbler -- a Bar-tailed
Godwit -- has recently captivated sleuthing birders visiting Bolinas Lagoon (near Stinson Beach in
West Marin County, CA).

For this sighting, I'm consulting sialia.com and, then, investigating the North Bay Birds listserv.

My photo of this rare shorebird to n. CA is shown at my Facebook post at:
https://www.facebook.com/DCXusa



Initial migrating warblers are noted on several CA listservs today, including migrating Yellow Warbler spotted for the first time in Marin County, CA where I live. A Townsend's Warbler
also seen today in Marin County may possibly stay for the winter/non-breeding season, but it's more likely to continue migrating south (Our area's longer-lingering and overwintering Townsend's Warbler more typically arrive by September and October, with the initial ones seen now more likely transients for Marin County.)


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Warbler Guy, any name changes by the American Ornithologists' Union this summer? Did the AOU bird name changes happen to any wood-warblers?

Channee, the short answer: "No" changes among wood-warbler species (either scientific or common names) via the recent July publication of the AOU's latest taxonomic proposal changes.

That written, a couple of interesting votes occurred by the AOU committee in relation to other songbird taxonomic change proposals:

1. In a slight upset, the presumed lump of Hoary and Common Redpoll failed as a proposal. More study was deemed necessary to decide if these two species should instead be considered as one.

2. A proposal that passed:

The Western Scrub-jay is now separated into two species: California Scrub-Jay and Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay.

Read all about it, below, courtesy of Audubon Magazine (and the author Kenn Kaufman):


Western Scrub-Jay is now split into two species: the California Scrub-Jay(Aphelocoma californica) and Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma woodhouseii). Birders have long recognized that these widespread western jays come in different flavors: a darker, more rich color in California, Oregon, and southwestern Washington, and a somewhat paler, grayer type in the interior West, from Nevada east to Texas. Many field guides already illustrate them separately as “coastal form” (or “Pacific form”) and “interior form.” They do hybridize where their ranges come together in western Nevada, but studies have shown that such interbreeding is very limited. So now they will be officially recognized as separate species.

Birders who have traveled widely in the West have probably seen both of these already, and will net an automatic “armchair lifer” from the decision. If you’ve already seen them, you can go ahead and count them.



Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Warbler Guy, can you name a common wood-warbler that migrates early in summer throughout the USA?




Colby:

If you said “Yellow Warbler,” then you’re correct.

Rather than merely identifying this species as among the earliest “fall migrants” within the wood-warbler family, it’s apt to state the Yellow Warbler is an early “summer migrant.”

Dispersal and/or migration begins by mid- to late July throughout the majority of its eastern USA breeding range.

Migration of Yellow Warbler on the West Coast is not as early, typically initiating in August and peaking later in the month and into early September.

In addition, note this species has protracted migration, as some tardy individuals have been noted in Pennsylvania as late as October 1st and into late October from sightings in South Carolina and Florida.

Earliest arriving transients from the north into Mexico have been detected by late July. Most individuals, however, arrive in non-breeding territory by August, with peak numbers returning in September and October.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Warbler Guy, how do I know if my California bird sightings are rare ones? Are species of special concern in California present in a book?

Sherry, feel free to see:

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/nongame/ssc/birds.html

Here, you'll see the publication whose cover is shown below. 


It's an excellent resource to read analysis of the status of California's at-risk birds using the latest data to describe current populations, ranges, and threats. 

Species highlighted in this 450-page book include seabirds, raptors, shorebirds, waterfowl, and perching birds, all of which are represented on a Bird Species of Special Concern list.

This list also notes California habitats with high numbers of special concern bird species, including wetlands, scrublands, grasslands, and riparian forests.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Traveling soon to Wisconsin, Warbler Guy....so where do I look up recent warbler sightings? Warbler sightings in Wisconsin are posted on ebird?

"Yes" to your question, Theo (in Chicago).

You would do well to see:

http://ebird.org/ebird/atlaswi/map?zh=true

Then type in the warbler species you'd like to pursue in Wisconsin.

This link shows the latest survey results from WI Breeding Bird Atlas volunteers documenting
nesting bird species throughout the state.

For example, I recently visited WI to pursue Connecticut Warbler.

The ONLY documented sighting I noticed in n. WI is linked from a 5/24/15 observation at:

http://ebird.org/ebird/atlaswi/map/conwar?neg=true&env.minX=-96.46825195312499&env.minY=41.84614104137589&env.maxX=-80.80174804687499&env.maxY=46.80861629908459&zh=true&gp=false&ev=Z&mr=1-12&bmo=1&emo=12&yr=EBIRD_ATL_WI_2015

Let me know if I can further help.

Regards, Daniel

(My "Bird Tours" information is at my web site via the "Bird Tours" tab:
warblerwatch.com)




Monday, May 30, 2016

Warbler Guy, I'm traveling to Maine, so how do I find out about warbler sightings in Maine? Warbler sightings in New England?

There's a great web site operated by Steve Holzman (Thanks, Steve!) that I recommend, Betsy:

http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/holzmanarchives.html

Here, you can see any state listserv with recent documentations of bird species, including wood-warbler species.

Paul Garrity operates the Maine listserv, which is at:

http://www.virtualbirder.com/bmail/mebirds/

His "Media Shelf" link features excellent wood-warbler resources. See:

http://www.virtualbirder.com/vbirder/onLoc/onLocDirs/BOSSPR/shelf/index.html

*

This post is brief because it's time to go prowling for owls tonight...in addition enjoy BRIGHT
Mars, which is at a magnitude of -2, so four times as bright as a "0" designation.

Enjoy the spring everyone, Daniel

warblerwatch.com (hosts my "birding tours" information for central California birding and San Francisco Bay area birding tours that I regularly lead....in addition to teaching birding classes at Merritt College in Oakland (merritt.edu) )