Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Warbler Guy, I heard about you overseas and I'm coming to the USA to find warblers in May. Which warbler field guide do you recommend?

Norman (in England)......There's two essential field guides:

1. The Warbler Guide, by Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle, Princeton Univ. Press, 2013

It's an exquisite, comprehensive treatise that hosts a dizzying array of excellent features that will edify both beginning and advanced warbler watchers.

Beyond the typical features hosted in a field guide, The Warbler Guide format highlights new ways to identify species via clever comparison photos; close-ups of body parts not usually shown in field guides; information to age and sex individual birds; "quick ID" pages to reduce the steps to identify an unknown species; and much more.

You won't be disappointed in ordering this field guide that is easily obtained at amazon.com,
americanbirding.org, and several other online bookstores.

2. Warblers, by Kimball Garrett and Jon Dunn, Houghton Mifflin Publishing, 1997

As a complement to The Warbler Field Guide, Garrett and Dunn's field guide remains a masterpiece.

Although some information and map-related data is outdated and/or needs updating, this
amazing field guide remains one of the finest bird-specific publications ever created.

I'll write more about this guide soon.

For now, suffice to know: Buy this field guide....and, better, buy both of the aforementioned.

With these two publications, warbler enthusiasts are well endowed with the best bedtime reading they could imagine.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Warbler Guy, I know it's not recent news, but what happened with the most recent scientific warbler name changes?

Good question, Vinny.

Here's a Share And Tell courtesy of The Carolina Bird Club (https://www.carolinabirdclub.org/brc/aouchanges.html#aou54) whereby the 52nd Supplement,
July, 2011 to the AOU Checklist of Birds addresses your question and others related to the wood-warbler family:

There are major changes within the wood-warbler family (Parulidae), consisting of many reassignments of genus and a new linear sequence of genera and species.
  • Genera ParulaDendroica, and Wilsonia are deleted by being lumped with other genera. Parula and Dendroica are lumped into Setophaga. One species of Wilsonia (Hooded Warbler) is also lumped into Setophaga, and the other two species (Wilson's and Canada) are lumped into Cardellina (the genus of Red-faced Warbler).
  • Kentucky, Mourning, and MacGillivray's Warblers are moved to genus Geothlypis (same as Common Yellowthroat) leaving only Connecticut in Oporornis.
  • Although the genus Parula no longer exists, a provision of the Code of Zoological Nomenclature allows the family name to remain Parulidae.
  • The new sequence of species, with new generic names, is:
    sequencenew scientific namecommon nameformer scientific nameformer sequence
    1Seiurus aurocapillaOvenbirdSeiurus aurocapilla31
    2Helmitheros vermivorumWorm-eating WarblerHelmitheros vermivorum29
    3Parkesia motacillaLouisiana WaterthrushParkesia motacilla33
    4Parkesia noveboracensisNorthern WaterthrushParkesia noveboracensis32
    5Vermivora bachmaniiBachman's WarblerVermivora bachmanii1
    6Vermivora chrysopteraGolden-winged WarblerVermivora chrysoptera3
    7Vermivora cyanopteraBlue-winged WarblerVermivora cyanoptera2
    8Mniotilta variaBlack-and-white WarblerMniotilta varia26
    9Protonotaria citreaProthonotary WarblerProtonotaria citrea28
    10Limnothlypis swainsoniiSwainson's WarblerLimnothlypis swainsonii30
    11Oreothlypis peregrinaTennessee WarblerOreothlypis peregrina4
    12Oreothlypis celataOrange-crowned WarblerOreothlypis celata5
    13Oreothlypis ruficapillaNashville WarblerOreothlypis ruficapilla6
    14Oporornis agilisConnecticut WarblerOporornis agilis35
    15Geothlypis tolmieiMacGillivray's WarblerOporornis tolmiei37
    16Geothlypis philadelphiaMourning WarblerOporornis philadelphia36
    17Geothlypis formosaKentucky WarblerOporornis formosus34
    18Geothlypis trichasCommon YellowthroatGeothlypis trichas38
    19Setophaga citrinaHooded WarblerWilsonia citrina39
    20Setophaga ruticillaAmerican RedstartSetophaga ruticilla27
    21Setophaga kirtlandiiKirtland's WarblerDendroica kirtlandii20
    22Setophaga tigrinaCape May WarblerDendroica tigrina11
    23Setophaga ceruleaCerulean WarblerDendroica cerulea25
    24Setophaga americanaNorthern ParulaParula americana7
    25Setophaga magnoliaMagnolia WarblerDendroica magnolia10
    26Setophaga castaneaBay-breasted WarblerDendroica castanea23
    27Setophaga fuscaBlackburnian WarblerDendroica fusca17
    28Setophaga petechiaYellow WarblerDendroica petechia8
    29Setophaga pensylvanicaChestnut-sided WarblerDendroica pensylvanica9
    30Setophaga striataBlackpoll WarblerDendroica striata24
    31Setophaga caerulescensBlack-throated Blue WarblerDendroica caerulescens12
    32Setophaga palmarumPalm WarblerDendroica palmarum22
    33Setophaga pinusPine WarblerDendroica pinus19
    34Setophaga coronataYellow-rumped WarblerDendroica coronata13
    35Setophaga dominicaYellow-throated WarblerDendroica dominica18
    36Setophaga discolorPrairie WarblerDendroica discolor21
    37Setophaga nigrescensBlack-throated Gray WarblerDendroica nigrescens14
    38Setophaga townsendiTownsend's WarblerDendroica townsendi16
    39Setophaga virensBlack-throated Green WarblerDendroica virens15
    40Cardellina canadensisCanada WarblerWilsonia canadensis41
    41Cardellina pusillaWilson's WarblerWilsonia pusilla40
    42Icteria virensYellow-breasted ChatIcteria virens42