Sunday, September 30, 2012

Warbler Guy: Which wood-warblers benefit from people changing their coffee drinking patterns by buying beans that are “shade grown”....?

Warbler Guy: Which wood-warbler species' utilize non-breeding season habitat in the tropics that includes "shade grown" coffee farms? In theory, is it correct that 
changing coffee drinking patterns favoring "shade grown" coffee could benefit songbirds such as wood-warblers?

The brief answer, Jeremiah (in Rockford, IL)
is to note that several wood-warbler species likely
benefit from changed coffee farming methods that
favor “shade-grown” coffee, including Canada, Wilson's, Black-throated Green, and Cerulean Warbler. Cerulean populations, in specific, have dropped precipitously, perhaps in part due to habitat destruction of their "wintering" grounds (per Breeding Bird Survey trends and results suggested by other monitoring efforts).

To learn more (go to the web site) and/or see the following two links:

(For a nice overview of a blog site article related to the benefits of using "shade grown" coffee as your morning delight choice, please see:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Warbler Guy: Among the strangest warbler questions, a leading one must be: Why is the Yellow-breasted Chat still classified a wood-warbler?

Smart question, Andrea (in Spokane, WA).

Because even a quick glance at a chat suggests — even "yells" — the thought: This species is NOT a warbler, given the large bill (in comparison to other wood-warbler species), large size (two inches bigger than many other wood-warbler species), and a mimic-like/Mimidae family member-like song that is unlike the more dainty, plaintive song heard in most other wood-warbler species.
So: Here's why the Yellow-breasted remains in the wood-warbler family (Parulidae), despite considerable mutiny and bounty dialog that seeks to oust it. Note that two respected analyses of this warbler species’ blood anatomy (i.e., its molecular characters) continue to place the species in the wood-warbler family. More specific (for you molecularly-literate warbler fans), based on the analysis of proteins encoded by loci in various wood-warbler species, the chat remains grouped with other wood-warbler family members. 
Other researchers — including David Sibley’s dad, Charles Sibley — concluded, likewise, through blood analysis (i.e., DNA hyridization) that the chat should remain in the warbler family, despite comparisons of it to tanagers, vireos, mimids (Mimidae family members), and other bird groups.  

OK, I'll abide. The taxonomists know a lot more than me. 

But if a chat is a warbler, then Santa Claus needs scuba diving gear.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Hey, Warbler Guy, where can I see a Connecticut Warbler this autumn?

Thanks, Hank (in New York state):

Here's one, below, that was seen on Friday, 9/7/12.....So, Hank, I'll spring for your gas and you scoot east (young man)....Maybe you'll see the one below that Brian Toal observed....If you see it, Hank, please let me know so I can immediately turn green (with envy).

In other words, I rarely see or hear a COWA (Connecticut Warbler).

Are other readers like me in striking out often with this nemesis bird?

Feel free to answer this question by clicking on the comments button below...and you can
add your comment via the "anonymous" button....a method that is fastest way to post a comment
at this blog site.....

Cheers to you enjoying the warblers,

Daniel (415-382-1827;;
Subject: Connecticut Warbler, west Hartford powerlines
Date: Sat Sep 8 2012 7:06 am
From: penguinsz AT
9/8 - Brian Toal just called to report a Connecticut Warbler on the powerline cut on Rt 44 in West Hartford, going up Avon mountain. The bird was found between the first and second poles on the left side of the trail.

Sara Zagorski