Sunday, March 28, 2010

Warbler Guy, which warblers look alike? Which are the most confusing warblers to identify from each other?

Thanks, Gilman (in Paso Verde, CA)

Right, which photo is the Orange-crowned? Tennessee?

Warbler identification challenges are ALWAYS the leading questions I get in the spring.

So here's ten typical “double-take” ID challenges you’re likely to encounter when the going gets tough on the boardwalk as the warbler march begins:

(i.e., Knowing the breeding ranges and which habitats the following species tend to frequent and/or nest within is always helpful in identifying look-alikes from each other – among other factors.)

1. Chestnut Sided and Golden-Winged

2. Magnolia and immature Prairie

3. Black-throated Green and Townsend’s/Hermit hybrids

4. Yellow-throated and Grace’s

5. Kirtland’s and Palm (and Prairie)

6. Yellow-Rumped (Audubon’s subspecies vs. Myrtle subspecies) (and intergrades of Audubon’s and Myrtle occur in portions of British Columbia and Alberta)

7. Tennessee and Orange-Crowned

8. Ovenbird and Northern Waterthrush (or Louisiana Waterthrush (they are all in the same genus)

9. Connecticutt and Mourning

10. Mourning and MacGillivray’s

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Warbler Watch (Indeed): Daniel's Upcoming Birding Forays

If you're in the Bay Area/California, then maybe you'll appreciate noting my upcoming birding outings:


Upcoming Birding Field Trips
with Daniel Edelstein (

(Birding Instructor @ Merritt College, Birding Guide
& Wildlife Biologist;

Low Cost: $25 per full day field trip
($20 per day if you register for four or more field trips)

Visit the best birding sites in the Bay Area & Sierras (@ peak of breeding/song)

Daniel’s 25+ years of ornithology/biology experience,
plus handouts you’ll receive (and use of his A-1, 25x-50x zoom scope & binoculars)

1. Bay Area (i.e., to prime-time songbird (“Birding By Ear”) hot-spots)
- April 17th, Mitchell Canyon, Mt. Diablo State Park, Walnut Creek,
9 am – 3 pm
- April 31st, Mines Road/Del Puerto Canyon, Livermore area,
9 am – 3 pm
- May 8th, Point Reyes National Seashore, Bear Valley
9 am – 3 pm

2. Sierras (i.e., we’ll visit optimum breeding areas for common & rare birds)
- June 5-6, Yuba Pass/Gold Lakes area (Sardine Lake, Sand Pond, etc.)
- June 12-13 Sierra Valley (Marble Hot Springs Rd., Dyson Lane, Loyalton area)

Cost: $25 per day’s outing or any five days for $100 (Minimum of eight people needed to ensure each day’s field trip is a “go.”)

Directions/Etc.: If you respond with a “yes” to one or more of the above dates, I’ll send you precise directions/maps/motel-camping options, details/etc.

Email questions to Daniel (an Adjunct Merritt College instructor in its Biology Dept.):

Learn about Daniel’s 25+ years of birding experience and print FREE Bay Area/ California birding information at: &, in addition, please note Daniel’s popular “Wood-Warbler” blog site:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Can you identify the wood-warblers in each of the following five photos?