Monday, January 31, 2011

Warbler Guy, which wood-warbler sang first in the movie The Social Network's sound track background? Why was it probably the wrong species?

Good question, Dr. Watson? -- err, I mean Erica (in Palo Alto, CA).

Indeed, long antennae make fine decisions when identifying birds by ear.

So how could a Wilson's Warbler (ABOVE photo) sing near Harvard's campus in the crew racing scene that appears
soon after The Social Network begins?

This vexing question is valid because Wilson's only passes through the Harvard University area (Massachusetts) as a spring and fall transient.

BUT the scene in the movie depicts a summer atmosphere, post migration, when Wilson's would already be farther north on breeding grounds.

Ho-hum. Another movie that cares little that birders compose a portion of the audience.

We are listening, Hollywood. You have it wrong. Our antennae are long.

Film on the floor. Cut up.

Take 2.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Warbler Guy, what are the latest AOU species split proposals? Are Yellow-Rumped Warbler subspecies going to change in number?

(UPDATE: The article below is outdated, given recent name classification changes. Thus, see the 3/7/11 article here at this blog for an update in relation to the Yellow-rumped Warbler split into various subspecies.)


There's an excellent article to read All About It, Robert Z., if you go to:


That's a huge Web site address to copy and paste, I know.....but it's worthwhile reading.

You'll learn the potential options for classifying Yellow-Rumped Warbler that the American Ornithological Union (AOU) committee is debating.

Meanwhile, where I live in the Bay Area (CA), it's common to see two subspecies in many habitats during the non-breeding season:

1. Myrtle Yellow-rumped Warbler (Dendroica coronata coronata)
2. Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler (Dendroica coronata auduboni)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Warbler Guy, which wood-warblers remain in the USA after the breeding season?

Bridget, the answer to your question won’t take you long to read.

Among the breeding 52 North American wood-warblers, only a minority occur in the USA during the non-breeding season:
- Common Yellowthroat
- Black-throated Green
- Northern Parula
- Pine
- Orange-crowned (south Channel Islands, CA and along the California coast)
- Yellow-throated (southeast USA)
- Tropical Parula (in the extreme southern portion of Texas)
- Prairie (a subspecies in south Florida)
- Painted Redstart (southeast Arizona)

South of the USA, here’s some more North American wood-warblers that have non-migratory populations breeding as far north as Mexico:
- Belding’s Yellowthroat (Baja only)
- Bahama Yellowthroat
- Gray-crowned Yellowthroat
- Slate-Throated Redstart
- Crescent-Chested
- Fan-tailed Warbler
- Golden-crowned Warbler
- Rufous-capped Warbler

A few other species are reported rarely to irregularly after the breeding season in the USA, and, thus, could potentially be individuals that remain in the USA during a portion or throughout their brief lives, including:

- Tennessee
- American Redstart
- Nashville