Saturday, May 15, 2010

First male Blackburnian Warbler for Spring!

Light NW winds allowed for some movement out of the beach ridge overnight. Lots of midges hatched for pletniful food source during the day to help the birds plump up for migration. Three hundred ninety-six new birds banded with 67 recaptures. I was thinking we would have a lot of recaptures after yesterday. I was thankful that we did not have that many.
Quiz picture #1 (I have to give you different angles---maybe you can get them correct with the back view)
Twenty-four warbler species were heard or seen on site including: Tennessee, Orange-crowned, Nashville, Northern Parula, Yellow, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Cape May, Black-throated Blue, Myrtle, Black-throated Green, Chipe de Garganta Naranja, Western Palm, Bay-breasted, Blackpoll, Black-and-white, American Redstart, Prothonotary, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Mourning, Common Yellowthroat, Wilson's, and Canada.

Quiz picture #2 (front view)

Top 12 Species:
Gray Catbird (GRCA)- 55
Magnolia Warbler (MAWA)-52
Common Yellowthroat (COYE)-30
Northern Waterthrush (NOWA)- 22
Wilson's Warbler (WIWA)- 21
White-throated Sparrow (WTSP)- 17
Yellow Warbler (YWAR)- 16
Chestnut-sided Warbler (CSWA)- 16
Canada Warbler (CAWA)- 15
American Redstart (AMRE)- 14
Traill's Flycatcher (TRFL)- 14
Tennessee Warbler (TEWA)- 12

*Traill's Flycatcher= Willow or Alder Flycatcher. They cannot be distinguished in the hand. They do not sing in the hand, if they did we could ID all of them. There is a series of wing and bill measurements that can tease out about 10 % of the Willow and Alder Flycatchers, otherwise they are recorded as Traill's Flycatchers in the banding data.

Quiz picture #3 (whole bird-side view)
Take a look at this mature female Black-throated Blue Warbler. She is so mature she is getting some black on her throat.
The best warbler ever is the Blackburnian Warbler also known as "Cheeto head" in my book. This is why:(see any resemblance to the color of a Cheeto? Male Blackburnian Warblers look like their head has been stuck in a Cheeto bag don't they?)

Lots of third wave songbirds coming in force but not many vireos or flycatchers as of yet... Stay tuned... There is still the second pulse of the second wave of songbirds to come before the third wave. That means more Magnolia Warblers!

Answer to the quiz is Orange-crowned Warbler and Tennessee Warbler. See the difference in the coloration on the chest of these two birds? Gray streaking on the Orange-crowned versus no streaking on the Tennessee Warbler. Also the Tennessee has white undertail coverts and the OCWA has yellow. That is usually the end (underside) you see so this tip may be helpful. Enjoy a good day birding!

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