Sunday, June 30, 2013

Introducing "The Warbler Guide" (Tom Stephenson & Scott Whittle; illustrated by Catherine Hamilton)

…..and kudos to the authors: Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle (and primary illustrator Catherine Hamilton) (Princeton University Press, 2013…

Compliments aplenty…..plentitude of 
excellent, new features and chapters in this guide that are NOT present in other wood-warbler publications distributed since the 1960s.

I have some qualification remarks related to subspecies and their graphic representation in the maps corresponding to each species.

But, otherwise, Thumbs Up.

And I will not further borrow your eyeballs here with more details about this Must Read & Must Have guide (for wood-warbler aficionados)….yet, please feel free to note that I am writing a review.

Please email me privately, if you wish to receive it — and I'll send it to you as an attachment in the future and/or provide a link to a web site where my review appears. My seven-year wood-warbler-centric blog also will host the review soon:….while my web site already contains a Warbler ID Tips text button link (three tables for ~50 USA wood-warblers).

Regards and good birding (indeed), Daniel, 
who notes the authors must believe the AOU is soon planning on hitting the delete key for the Yellow-breasted Chat……and removing it from the wood-warbler family/Parulidae family, given this species is NOT included in the wood-warbler section 
{Instead, the authors feature the Yellow-breasted Chat among other taxa in a chapter titled "Similar Non-Warbler Species" (!)}

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Warbler Guy, what are some techniques I can use to increase my ability to remember warbler songs and commit them to my long-term memory? Birding by ear tips you recommend?

Excellent question, Bernice (in Chicago).

Everyone’s different, I have discovered, in terms of learning style in the field and progressing toward a Master’s of Science in IDing Birds By Ear.

That’s why I offer 10 diverse hints in my Top Ten Tips To Improving Your Birding By Ear handout that’s free at my web site:
(NOTE: As of 6/30/13, this handout is temporarily missing from my web site. It will soon reappear, so, meanwhile, please email me at the following # if you wish to receive it from me:
danieledelstein at (use an @ symbol, of course, to replace the word "at" on the left in my email #.) 

There, first click on “Birding Links,” and when the next screen shows a menu of files, click on Top Ten Tips To Improving Your Birding By Ear to access it and/or print it.

As a prequel to what you’ll read, here’s one tip among the 10:

#5. “Draw” bird vocalizations using your own “short-hand” notation marks, ala the chapter in Sibley’s Birding Basics (i.e., a quasi-sonogram shorthand method that he introduces). After your birding foray and when you’re out of the field, use these written notation marks while listening to songs/calls on media (e.g., CDs) to ID the species you heard and/or better learn their song/call patterns.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Warbler Guy, are any wood-warbler names changing soon? Will pending American Ornithological Union (AOU) name change proposals for vote in July, 2013 include wood-warbler species?

Good news, Hank (in Boston): No pending wood-warbler name changes are on the front burner (or back burner).

But if you wish to see the other potential avian name changes that may soon occur in the AOU area, see:

Then again, if you’re into wood-warbler name changes, here’s a quick quiz:

Before all the Dendroica USA-based wood-warbler members were whacked and joined the lone Setophaga member to make 22 in this genus within the USA*, which “lone eagle” is no longer lonely?

In other words, until recently there was one Setophaga genus member and it was and is a common wood-warbler species. Its name?

For the answer, email me (danieledelstein at or come back here in the next week. I’ll post the answer.

OK, see you on the trail....have binos will travel.

(* = Other, additional species in the Setophaga genus occur outside the USA.)