Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What are the latest bird name changes or warbler name changes? When did the American Ornithological Union (AOU) approve these names?

Yes, Aaron (in Akron, OH), the 52nd AOU Checklist Supplement approved and published in 2011 lists the following wood-warbler changes to species names (INCLUDING the scientific name change for the wood-warbler shown in the nearby photo, the common name of which is the answer for the one-click quiz on the left side. As a hint, we're still playing taps on our bugle, given the Wilsonia genus is now R.I.P., subsumed into the genus occupied by the Red-faced Warbler (Cardellina genus).):

• Mourning Warbler Geothlypis philadelphia
formerly Oporornis philadelphia
• MacGillivray’s Warbler Geothlypis tolmiei
formerly Oporornis tolmiei
• Kentucky Warbler Geothlypis formosa
formerly Oporornis formosus [note change in spelling of species name]
• Hooded Warbler Setophaga citrina
formerly Wilsonia citrina
• Kirtland’s Warbler Setophaga kirtlandii
formerly Dendroica kirtlandii
• Cape May Warbler Setophaga tigrina
formerly Dendroica tigrina
• Cerulean Warbler Setophaga cerulea
formerly Dendroica cerulea
• Northern Parula Setophaga americana
formerly Parula americana
• Tropical Parula Setophaga pitiayumi
formerly Parula pitiayumi
• Magnolia Warbler Setophaga magnolia
formerly Dendroica magnolia
• Bay-breasted Warbler Setophaga castanea
formerly Dendroica castanea
• Blackburnian Warbler Setophaga fusca
formerly Dendroica fusca
• Yellow Warbler Setophaga petechia
formerly Dendroica petechia
• Chestnut-sided Warbler Setophaga pensylvanica
formerly Dendroica pensylvanica
• Blackpoll Warbler Setophaga striata
formerly Dendroica striata
• Black-throated Blue Warbler Setophaga caerulescens
formerly Dendroica caerulescens
• Palm Warbler Setophaga palmarum
formerly Dendroica palmarum
• Pine Warbler Setophaga pinus
formerly Dendroica pinus
• Yellow-rumped Warbler Setophaga coronata
formerly Dendroica coronata
• Yellow-throated Warbler Setophaga dominica
formerly Dendroica dominica
• Prairie Warbler Setophaga discolor
formerly Dendroica discolor
• Grace’s Warbler Setophaga graciae
formerly Dendroica graciae
• Black-throated Gray Warbler Setophaga nigrescens
formerly Dendroica nigrescens
• Townsend’s Warbler Setophaga townsendi
formerly Dendroica townsendi
• Hermit Warbler Setophaga occidentalis
formerly Dendroica occidentalis
• Golden-cheeked Warbler Setophaga chrysoparia
formerly Dendroica chrysoparia
• Black-throated Green Warbler Setophaga virens
formerly Dendroica virens
• Fan-tailed Warbler Basileuterus lachrymosus
formerly Euthlypis lachrymosa [note change in spelling of species name]
• Canada Warbler Cardellina canadensis
formerly Wilsonia canadensis
• Wilson’s Warbler Cardellina pusilla
formerly Wilsonia pusilla

In addition, see the following web site written by David Sibley to learn more about wood-warbler name changes and the rationale for the new taxonomy that the American Ornithological Union recently approved:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Warbler Guy: Where's warbler resources online? Warbler books? Warbler field guides? Warbler information?

Jeremy (in Austin, TX):
Feel free to check out:

Warbler resources are also listed in the bibliography within the Warblers field guide (shown here as a graphic) by Jon Dunn and Kimball Garrett (1997, Houghton Mifflin).

Of course, tooting my own riff: I present warbler-centric slide shows when invited by groups. More information about these shows is at my web site:

Enjoy the warblers, Daniel

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Are Pt. Reyes & the Farallon Islands the best W. Coast spots to see E. Coast vagrant warblers? Is it rare to see CT Warbler in CA?

Excellent questions, Jason. Answers: 1. The book “Rare Birds of California” is an excellent resource for your questions. CT Warbler is a rare vagrant at the spots you mention, though it’s also been recorded as a vagrant from s. British Columbia south to n. Baja CA. Vagrants have also been seen in C. America and the western Caribbean. The initial confirmed record of CT in California was a spring male collectedon June 16, 1958 on southeast Farallon Island, a location that claims first state records of five other wood-warbler species.

True fact (that is amazing): More than half of CA’s CT sightings originate from one rock on southeast Farallon Island.

Vagrant (“accidental”) warbler species are NEVER common on the West Coast, but they are always annually seen. Point Reyes National Seashore is often a fine place to see them in September and October, especially within Monterey Cypress groves that occur sporadically within and near ranches on the way to the Outer Point/Lighthouse area within the park. Foggy/cloudy days are often the best conditions to see “layover” individuals. Some of the best areas to visit in pursuit of vagrant East Coast warblers here include the Drakes Beach, Chimney Rock, and Lighthouse areas.

Connecticut Warbler is currently present (on 9/12 and 9/13/11) in the Monterey Pine groves within Point Reyes National Seashore near Chimney Rock.

To find this location, contact the park's rangers or email me:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Warbler Guy, where is bird radar migration information? Bird migration radar maps? Radar information related to birds?

Joey (in Hamilton, Ontario): There's a great bird radar migration web site at:

Here, you'll find how the Clemson Radar Ornithology Laboratory and its latest work related to:

-Calibrating WSR-88D displays for quantifying bird migration,
-Developing migration maps for different regions of the United States,
-Examining changing migration patterns with comparisons of current and historic radar datasets,
-Developing national migration models from forecast weather variables,
-Forecasting bird migration in the northeastern United States (BIRDCAST),
-Identifying and delimiting important migration stopover areas by using WSR-88D and classified multispectral satellite data in a GIS,
-Mapping roosting areas of Purple Martins throughout the South, and
-Conducting radar studies of bird migration through Panama.

Another related, albeit regional bird migration site for the autumn/post-breeding movement of songbird is:

Currently, excellent "difficult fall warbler" photos are shown at this blog site (in the 8/30/11 article and corresponding photos).