Sunday, September 5, 2021

Here's the photo quiz answers from my previous post featuring wood-warbler photos:

 Good job, everyone....it's cool to note Ryan Brady was kind to share his photos and now (drum roll) the answers (clockwise starting from the top left-most photo):


Black-throated Green

Ovenbird

Tennessee

Mourning (female)

Cape May

*

NICE to note and FLATTERED to mention: I'll be in WI 9/14 - 9/22/21 for birding, including attending the WI Society for Ornithology event (JaegerFest) near Superior, WI.....Should be excellent and wonderful, too, to see friends.

Now to a birding tour here that I'm leading in my homeground, the SF Bay Area...plus preparing for my upcoming "Fundamentals of Ornithology" class that I'm teaching 9/26 - 11/14/21 at Merritt College (Oakland, CA) (Merritt.edu). More info. on it: 

DanielsMerrittClasses.blogspot.com

Cheers to all...be safe....Daniel

WarblerWatch.com

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Today's "Guest Host" For A Warbler Photo Quiz Is Ryan Brady, Per Below :-)

When you have a collection of mediocre warbler photos it is custom to make a quiz of them. 🙂 These were all taken this week in N. WI (Bayfield Co.). How many can you ID?

This month's birding has generally been as abysmal as late spring and summer were, resulting in my worst August here in Bayfield Co., WI at the house by far. On the up side, this morning featured a very active overhead flight of warblers, flycatchers, nighthawks, and others. Hoping things improve when this relentless hot and dry weather breaks, although I fully expect Sept-Oct to reflect more of the low bird numbers we've generally seen all year.

Thanks for sharing Ryan (!).....Answers? Feel free to add your comment below....I'll post the answers by 9/5/21 so my loyal followers (Thank you!) have a chance to share their answers. Regards, Daniel Edelstein, Birding Guide & Consulting Avian Biologist, WarblerWatch.com








 

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Warbler Guy, are there any New World warblers that occur in their own family and where shall I look?

 




The Olive Warbler, Peucedramus taeniatus,  is a small passerine bird. It is the only member of the genus Peucedramus and the family Peucedramidae.

Breeding from southern Arizona through New Mexico and south into Mexico and Nicaragua, the Olive Warbler is the only member of the genus Peucedramus and the family Peucedramidae. All our other New World warblers in the continental USA are in the Parulidae family (except for rare to occasional vagrant sightings of Old World Warbler sightings — among them being Arctic and Dusky Warbler).

The Olive Warbler status in its one-member family is distinctive in that it's the only bird family endemic to North America (including Central America). Before it was classified into its current family, this warbler was considered a Parulidae, but DNA studies suggest that it split early in its evolutionary history from the other related passerines prior to the differentiation of the entire New World warbler/American sparrow/Icterid group.

Where should you look for this species?

Like many other New World warblers, it is an insectivorous species of coniferous forests.
According to the iBird Pro app I used to interpret its distribution range, Olive Warbler is restricted to breeding in central/east-central Arizona and a small portion of southwestern New Mexico. It's non-breeding season range includes southern Arizona most of western Mexico and a restricted area of northeastern Mexico immediately south of Texas.

Though it is often said to be non-migratory, most New Mexican birds typically leave the state from November to late February.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Warbler Guy, which warblers are the most confusing to identify because they look like other species? Any tips to identify look-alike warblers?

 

Jamie (in Boston), I like the pictorial guide to confusing look-alike species in The Warbler Guide
("Comparison Species" corresponding to each warbler account and, in addition, pages 512-519 within the "Similar Non-Warbler Species" section).


(Orange-crowned Warbler is shown above.)

In this section, photographs of these look-alike birds feature both Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglet, Bushtit, Verdin, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Black-Capped Chickadee, Blue-headed (and Plumbeous and Cassin's) Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Warbler Vireo, Philadelphia Vireo, Bell's Vireo, Sparrow species, and Eastern Towhee.

This field guide is excellent and recommend it for many other outstanding features that few other field guides host.

Happy Birding On These Last (Precious) Days Of Summer (!), Daniel

danieledelstein@att.net

warblerwatch.com
(hosts my resume and my "Birding Tours" information....in addition to
birding articles, etc. at the "Birding Links" tab-button)

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Warbler Guy: Which “strange” common names were previously designated for some of our wood-warblers?

 



(The above Black-Throated Blue female's vastly different appearance in comparison to a definitive male of the species is suggested to be the reason John James Audubon named it a different common name, the Pine Swamp Warbler.)

Common Yellowthroat was once often referred to as Maryland Yellowthroat. John James Audubon mistakenly named two Yellow Warblers as Children’s Warbler. In another instance, Audubon misnamed two juvenile Yellow Warblers as Rathbone’s Warbler.

Audubon was not alone in his naming confusion. Beyond Audubon, naturalist/painter Alexander Wilson also made his share of identification mistakes. Both of these luminaries – as well as other contemporary birding experts in bygone eras – are to be excused because during their tenures little was known about the relationship between plumage changes and corresponding definitive field characteristics.

Audubon’s failed nomenclature decisions periodically continued to surface as he gathered specimens for his paintings. Originally calling a bird specimen he collected in Pennsylvania the Pine Swamp Warbler, he later realized his subject was truly a Black-Throated Blue Warbler.

Later, Audubon was misled by Wilson’s naming procedure into thinking a Blackburnian Warbler was worthy of being designated a new species, the Hemlock Warbler. Audubon, in fact, was never able to correct this misnaming mistake. Another misplay hearkens to May 1812, when Audubon caught a wood-warbler specimen that he named Vigor’s Warbler in honor of Nicholas Vigor, an English naturalist. More correctly, Audubon’s find was an immature Pine Warbler. His confusion was probably the result of the collected individual being in vastly different habitat than its usual pine/needle tree haunts.

Even the Canada Warbler was originally misnamed by Audubon. When he first drew the bird as it perched on the fruiting branch of a magnolia, Audubon suggested it be named the Cypress Swamp Flycatcher. Later he changed his mind, renaming the bird as Bonaparte’s Flycatcher only to again change its designation to Bonaparte’s Flycatching Warbler.

Eventually, it was confirmed that Audubon’s specimen was instead a young female Canada Warbler. Eight years later, Audubon painted the same species and mistakenly called it a Canada Flycatcher.

Regards, and happy birding....and please feel free to see my web site (WarblerWatch.com) that hosts a
"Birding Tours" section where details are present in relation to my 20+ years of bird guiding ....in addition to handouts associated with bird taxonomy, bird vocalizations, etc., et al (See "Birding Links" area at WarblerWatch.com)

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Warbler Guy, how do I know if my California bird sightings are rare ones? Are species of special concern in California present in a book?

 

Sherry, feel free to see:

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/nongame/ssc/birds.html

Here, you'll see the publication whose cover is shown below. 


It's an excellent resource to read analysis of the status of California's at-risk birds using the latest data to describe current populations, ranges, and threats. 

Species highlighted in this 450-page book include seabirds, raptors, shorebirds, waterfowl, and perching birds, all of which are represented on a Bird Species of Special Concern list.

This list also notes California habitats with high numbers of special concern bird species, including wetlands, scrublands, grasslands, and riparian forests.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Warbler Guy, Where may I most likely see warblers this time of year in northern California near you (or where might I see warblers in Marin County)?

 

Warbler Guy, Where may I most likely see warblers this time of year in northern California near you (or where might I see warblers in Marin County)?



Thanks for asking, Jeremy (in Mill Valley, CA).

Here's a great web site to note seven fine Marin County birdwatching spots (i.e., the best birding places in Marin County, and, arguably, some of the finest birding locales in northern California):
http://www.marintrails.com/birds.html

(By the way, my Web site, www.warblerwatch.com, features a button -- "2016 Nature Watch Calendar" -- where you can read several brief accounts that discuss wood-warblers in northern California and, in particular, wood-warblers in Marin County.)

Currently, among the seven on the list, I suggest going to Rock Springs (on Mt. Tamalpais) and
Muddy Hollow (within Point Reyes National Seashore, a paramount, iconic place on the W. Coast to see diverse species of birds in multiple families/orders).

In these two spots where forests occur, the most likely wood-warblers to see currently include TOWNSEND'S WARBLER (non-breeding season resident only; see closest above photo) and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (typically the AUDUBON's subspecies).

At Rock Springs and Muddy Hollow, watch for the much less common (in this order) ORANGE-CROWNED and HERMIT WARBLER, too -- though they are both rare to absent throughout most of Marin Co. during January (Populations of these two neotropical migrants return in late winter and spring, thereby nesting in suitable habitats throughout the County.) Even more rare at this time of year is to see the NASHVILLE WARBLER (above photo, below the headline), though it periodically makes a cameo appearance and, indeed, the local annual Christmas Bird Count surveyors sometimes extract one from the landscape.

The Stinson Beach area is another "hot spot" for periodic sightings of uncommon overwintering/non-breeding season warblers, with NASHVILLE WARBLER and HERMIT WARBLER seen there on 12/5/16 by Peter Pyle. Check out sialia.com under his North Bay Birds listserv post, if you wish directions to the grove of trees where he saw these two species (as I know it's often a prime spot to watch for warblers in December/January annually).

Regards, Daniel

warblerwatch.com
(features my "Birding Tours" information for the 8-hour trips I often lead for birders)