Thursday, September 2, 2010

August 30th - September 2nd

Posted by Julie Shieldcastle, Navarre Songbird Migration Station Supervisor:
This was a week of ups and downs for bird numbers with little fluctuation in temperature and humidity. It looks like this weekend could be a great time to go birding with the impending front that is coming through tomorrow (Sept. 3rd).

The past four days we saw or heard 17 species warblers with a total of 20 warbler species for the season. The 17 warblers include Tennessee, Nashville, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Cape May, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Bay-breasted, Blackpoll, Black-and-white, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Connecticut, Common Yellowthroat, Wilson’s, and Canada. We did not see or hear a Yellow, Mourning, or Prothonotary Warbler this week.

This season (to date) we have banded as many Black-and-white Warblers (13) as our total for last fall. Six were captured today (Sept. 2). This gives me an opportunity to show you both hatching year and adult (after hatching year) Black-and-whites (BAWW). Note the adult male has a black cheek (auricular) patch. Streaks on flanks are very black and distinct.

Here is another nice bird for the week:
A nice back shot showing you that it is one of the warblers with a yellow rump. This is a quiz bird.

Another warbler to be familiar with is this Bay-breasted Warbler (BBWA) with its lemon green head and back with little to no dark streaks and whitish throat and breast. The gray legs and feet help identify this as a BBWA from its cousin the Blackpoll Warbler.

Fall migration of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds has been sporadic in Navarre but five new birds were banded this week. Here is a hatching year male with its throat streaked with iridescent feathers. You can see the remnants of his yellow fleshy gape of its nestling stage.

A nice surprise on Wednesday, 09/01, was this Philadelphia Vireo (PHVI)
Its bright yellow throat and breast separate it from its cousin the Warbling Vireo.
All vireos have blue-gray legs and thick bills with a slight hook at the end.

Here is the side view of the quiz bird:
Note the thin beak in comparison to the small rounded head. Some use the yellow patch in the auricular and nape regions to assist in identification. However, it is not always apparent on a fall-plumaged bird. The bill shape versus the head and the streaks on the breast are the give aways for me. This is one of the warblers with yellow rumps, along with Magnolia, Palm, and Myrtle (the one people call the Yellow-rumped).

Answer to Bird Quiz is an adult female Cape May Warbler (CMWA). She has a faint remnant of the cheek patch (auricular) that the male exhibits in the spring. The fine streaking on the breast is a common characteristic for CMWAs. While the one in the photo above is a paler example, female CMWAs have two wing bars. A male has only one.

Be sure to stop by the Observatory this weekend (at the entrance to Magee Marsh) to see what warblers and other migrants are visiting the waterfall at our window on wildlife. For hours of operation and area birding and travel information visit BSBO HERE. Have a great birding weekend!

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