Sunday, March 12, 2017

Warbler Guy, are there an pending bird name/classification changes via the North American Classification Committee (NACC)? Any current proposals could change warbler names?


Good question, Irvin (in Spokane, WA).

1. Current avian classification and pending name changes under consideration by American Ornithologists’ Union committee and previous years' proposal are listed at:

http://www.gizard.org/nacc/proposals/prior_proposals.html

2. The most RECENT proposal decisions that have been adopted are present at:

http://www.gizard.org/nacc/proposals/PDF/2016-A.pdf

3. Please note a proposal is considered for a vote, then it must first be submitted. 

This process is explained via: http://www.gizard.org/nacc/proposal_guidelines.html

The North American Classification Committee (NACC), formally known as the Committee on Classification and Nomenclature of North and Middle American Birds, is charged with keeping abreast of the systematics and distribution of birds in this region, with the purpose of creating a standard classification and nomenclature. 

The committee votes "yes" or "no" on proposals and the results are typically listed at the American Ornithologists' Union web site (aou.org) by July each year.


4. As for potential warbler name changes via current proposals the NACC is considering, none are pending decision by this committee. 

5. Lastly:

In other words, status quo shall reign, meaning, "yes," the Yellow-breasted Chat shall again
evade ejection from the warbler family. But that's a whole another question to debate and answer. (i.e., Feel free to search at this blog for a past post or two I have featured at this blog in prior years to 2017.)

Regards, Daniel Edelstein

Birding Guide,
Consulting Biologist,
&
Certified Wildlife Biologist (associate)

warblerwatch.com (hosts my resume and birding information)

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Warbler Guy, are you teaching any local adult birding classes soon? Your "Bird Songing: The Ecology Of Birds Songs & Learning Them By Ear" Is Happening Soon Again?

...and good day, Bryce (in Hayward, CA). . .and please feel free to learn more about my upcoming 3/22 - 5/6/17 Merritt College class that you queried about in the subject line, above, via:

peralta.edu

OR: I'm able to send you a color flyer with details about the class if you send me an email
note at:

danieledelstein@att.net

.....or, as noted, see the pathway to learn registration/information about the class through peralta.edu, below....)

At the peralta.edu home page:

Click on the "Apply & Enroll" pull-down menu, then click on "Class Schedule."

You will see a pdf file of the entire Spring, 2017 class schedule. In turn, scroll to the Biology section, then
look for class under Biology 80B: "Bird Songing/Birding By Ear in the SF Bay Area"

Questions? Problems in enrolling? Please email me at danieledelstein@att.net

Meanwhile, please feel free to visit my web site — warblerwatch.com — where my
"Birding Tours" features information about small and large group birding outings I regularly
lead as a Marin County birding guide, Sonoma County birding guide, and San Francisco birding guide.

My popular eight-year-old wood-warbler blog — http://warblerwatch.blogspot.com — may also interest you.

Here, ask "Warbler Guy" any question you wish about wood-warblers and he'll be your Answer Man.

My blog also features:

1) wood-warbler articles (for which you can search through eight years of
articles that have appeared at my blog);

2) photo ID quizzes; and

3) one-click, think-quick quizzes

Enjoy the birding....feel free to contact me with your questions: danieledelstein@att.net

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Warbler Guy, a web site for Rare Bird Alert exists for early returning migrants? Early spring arrivals are noted at a web site? Bird migration arrival sightings would be great to know about...thank you.

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



http://birdingonthe.net/hotmail.html

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

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Warbler Guy: What's a good web site for warbler songs? Songs of warblers are best heard on the web and who explains warbler calls and songs?

Here's where you should know about, James (in Vancouver):

http://www.xeno-canto.org

GR8 web site...Type in the name of the bird species you wish to hear and, amazingly, dozens of different recordings from acoustic birders appear. Explore the list by scrolling down to read descriptions of each recording, then click on the ones you wish to hear.

A fantastic online site related to bird song ecology and excellent articles is:

http://earbirding.com/blog/

Here, Nathan Pieplow, professional sound recordist and birder extraordinaire, features incisive accounts related to bird songs and calls.



One of his posts from 2/28/14 notes excellent news with the announcement that the Florida Museum of Natural History now allows users access to is large collection of bird sound recordings. To find it, go to:

http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/bird-sounds/

To read more about bird song ecology, I recommend Dr. Donald Kroodsma's book The Singing Life of Birds. 

Lastly: I own a dozen or more other texts related to bird song ecology — some of which host peer-reviewed research articles and others that are intended for popular audiences. Please feel free to contact me at the following email # and I'll share a "resource" list of publications with you: danieledelstein@att.net

warblerwatch.com 
(features several bird-related articles, including my "Birding Tours" information in relation to guided trips I have led since the 1980s)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Warbler Guy, how do I know if warbler migration is strong? Migrating warblers are more dense on some spring days than other ones?


One that is good: Birdcast



See:

http://birdcast.info

At this link, you'll read about the current week's presence of migrators and predictions.

It is a great resource, given the BirdCast forecast highlights migrant species that you can expect to see in each of several regions: Upper Midwest and Northeast; Gulf Coast and Southeast; Great Plains; and West. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Warbler Guy, what’s an example of a “superspecies” in the wood-warbler family?

What’s an example of a “superspecies” in the wood-warbler family?



(The Black-Throated Gray Warbler in the above photo is one of five species within the Black-Throated Green superspecies group.)

Thanks for the query, Ms. Jones (in Santa Barbara, CA).

Think of a superspecies as a group of related species that evolved from a common ancestor, but live in distinct ranges apart from each other. A good example of a superspecies is the Black-Throated Green Warbler group that includes this species as well as Townsend’s, Hermit, Golden-Cheeked, and Black-Throated Gray Warblers.

Each of the latter four species in the above group is thought to have evolved from its Black-Throated Green ancestor. As this species expanded from its southeastern USA deciduous forest territory into coniferous forest created by the most recent glacial advances, isolation occurred among populations. As generations of separated populations slowly spread west and north throughout lower North America, each population became a divergent “island.” Gene flow ceased as reproductive isolation caused speciation to occur over eons. The resulting five species share various field marks, but also express their own unique characteristics.

Nonetheless, despite their status as species, hybridization sometimes occurs among species within a superspecies, including the Black-Throated Green superspecies wherein populations of Townsend’s and Hermit hybridize in Oregon and Washington. To simplify, where both species occur, over time Townsend’s appear to usually dominate and increase in number.

More technical, the five species within the Black-Throated Green superspecies have parapatric distributions. That is to say, each of the five species has ranges that do not significantly overlap but are immediately adjacent to each other (and/or occur together in a narrow contact zone, with the aforementioned reference to Townsend’s and Hermit Warbler hybridization a scenario where overlapping occurs).

To learn more about this subject, read a classic article by R.M. Mengel titled “The probable history of species formation in some northern wood warblers.” One source where this article appears is in a 1964 edition of “Living Bird” (page 943).

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Warbler Guy, given I live in the SF Bay Area, which warbler species are the most common to see during the non-breeding season (i.e., overwintering species)?

Good question, Sheehi (in Fairfield).

In general, in correct habitat, below I list the order (from most common to rarest) for abundance of wood-warbler species in the SF Bay Area during the non-breeding season. I suggest only the initial two on the following list — Yellow-rumped and Common Yellowthroat — are common to detect throughout the SF Bay Area during the non-breeding season:


(Orange-crowned Warbler, above, a common SF Bay breeding species, but rare to absent during the non-breeding season)

1. Yellow-rumped Warbler

2. Common Yellowthroat

3. Depending on which habitat you visit, the next most common species to detect could be:

Orange-crowned Warbler (strongest contender for the 3rd spot; see above photo)
Hermit Warbler (rare to absent during the non-breeding season)
Wilson's Warbler (rare to absent during the non-breeding season)
Palm Warbler (seen annually during the non-breeding months, but never common in the SF Bay
Area during the "winter" months.....most common seen in during autumn migration along the coast, especially within Point Reyes National Seashore)
Black-throated Gray Warbler (rare, but annually seen during the winter, and, if so, during the West Marin Christmas Bird Count, for example)
Nashville Warbler (rare to absent during the non-breeding season; typically a transient in the SF Bay Area; does not nest here)

Regards, Daniel

warblerwatch.com
(hosts information about my 25+ years of Wildlife Biology services, in addition to my bird tours via the "Bird Tours" tab)