Thursday, March 27, 2008

Which species are the earliest arriving wood-warblers to northern IL in the spring?

- Mary Annette, Lake Bluff, IL

Answer: The answer to your question varies from one USA location to another*.

But if you’re in IL, then you would typically expect to see during the majority of spring seasons the following arrivals and transients (transient individuals pass through an area during migration, but do not stay to nest where they are seen) as the calendar progresses from now through early May when the peak of migration occurs:

(* = Note #1 and #2, below, are often reliable as the initial two arrival species in IL (and the upper Midwest), though these two may periodically over-winter in small numbers as far south as s. WI, especially through November/December. After #1 -#3, below, the arrival selection for #s 4 and beyond become more difficult to accurately predict.

Instead, it's best to consider my suggested bird species corresponding to #4 and beyond (BELOW) are idealized, in terms of arrival "trends" based on many years of monitoring. That is to say, consider #4-#9 a general arrival sequence that may occur for observers during some spring birding seasons, and change for others.)

ARRIVAL ORDER (see above paragraphs for qualification)

1. Yellow-rumped Warbler (transients join any winter residents; all individuals of this species leave IL to nest farther north, with the n. WI the closest breeding location from IL) (Myrtle subspecies) (Overwintering has occurred in n. IL)

2. Pine Warbler (migrant; transient) (Overwintering has occurred in n. IL)

3. Palm Warbler (migrant; transient) (Some Christmas Bird Count seasons yield this species)

4. LA Waterthrush

5. Black and White Warbler

6. Black-throated Green Warbler

7. Tennessee Warbler

8. Nashville Warbler

9. Magnolia Warbler

10. Next arrival candidates (order of arrival is not as easily defined by chronological progression on the calendar, so the following species are grouped together): Wilson's, Yellow Warbler, Ovenbird, Blackburnian, and American Redstart. (Other arrivals may include increased populations of Yellow and Common Yellowthroat. Note: In parts of n. IL, it's possible that Yellow and Common Yellowthroat remain after arriving on migration and breed in suitable habitat.)

Final arrival candidates often (but not always) include Blackpoll, Mourning Warbler and Connecticut Warbler.


Anonymous said...

Thanks warbler hombre.

I heard Orange-crowned early this year on the West Coast, and like you wrote, I sometimes see them over the winter, too.

Jerry R.

Anonymous said...

Might I see Yellow-Rumped already in the Chicago area?


Anonymous said...

I just saw Palm. Is that early for Georgia?

Anonymous said...

I guess Prairie is found in selected spots in n. IL, and you know that.......but not common enough to list it here. OK, I agree.