Saturday, September 5, 2009

Calm winds produce little bird movement

It is a different day with about the same number of new birds as yesterday (20 new banded and 4 recaptures). There were a few first time for the fall birds today. One is a quiz bird. Give it your best shot.

Answer is at bottom of post.

Also here is another warbler with a diagnostic tail pattern. It has a long tail for a warbler and lighter flare of yellow on the outer tail feathers for this female American Redstart. Note also the bit of color on the flank by the bend in the wing. All helpful hints for fall warbler identification.

Another first for the fall which may make you think it is time for winter is this Purple Finch. As you can see it has loose juvenile feathers on the body with characteristic stripes on the flanks, thick beak, and dark facial stripe through the eye (It may be hard to see in this photo). This is a hatching year unknown sex bird. You cannot tell male from female at this stage in a hatching year Purple Finch's life. It is safer to look like female-like if you are a young male Purple Finch than to be bright purple and have the adult males showing aggression towards you. Its life may have a few less complications and add to its survival.
Another bluebird day forecasted for tomorrow. The weather is not supposed to change until sometime on Monday. However, there have been at least nine species of warbler seen around the marshes today ( Nashville, Magnolia, Blackburnian (no, I have not seen one yet), Bay-breasted, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Mourning, Common Yellowthroat). Who knows you may see one that is not listed.
P.S. the quiz bird is a hatching year Bay-breasted Warbler. This one cannot be sexed so it had to be recorded as a hatching year unknown. Notice the gray legs and feet which separate it from the Blackpoll Warbler in the fall.

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