Monday, October 27, 2014

Navarre Update: October 20-26th

Fall songbird migration is winding down as an American Tree Sparrow (ATSP) graced us with its presence. The ATSP is a winter bird for Ohio, so that means only one thing: colder temps, and seed-eating birds will make up the majority of birds as cold weather closes in.

Some Hermit Thrushes (HETH) and Myrtle Warblers (MYWA) will stick around during winter with the MYWA switching to a berry diet of dogwood, sumac, etc. One of the diagnostic features of a ATSP is its dark breast spot. However, this bird (photo to the right) does not show this field mark but does possess the other identifying features including the bi-colored bill, chestnut cap and wings and clear breast. Just goes to show not all birds look like the photos or pictures in the book.

 We still had nine species of warblers for the week including: Orange-crowned (OCWA), Nashville (NAWA), Cape May (CMWA), Black-throated Blue (BTBW), Myrtle (MYWA), Blackpoll (BLPW), American Redstart (AMRE), Ovenbird (OVEN), and Northern Waterthrush (NOWA).

A couple of warblers caused minor confusion for our great volunteers this week, so thought we would share:
OCWA left and NAWA right
Note: OCWA has split eye ring and NAWA has complete eye ring and yellow throat

Backs of OCWA and NAWA: OCWA is slightly larger

Both OCWA and NAWA have yellow undertail coverts

 An additional highlight of the week was a male Sharp-shinned Hawk. An older Adult with the ruby red eyes.
SSHA: courtesy of Laura Gooch

 Another harbinger of winter is the Pine Siskin (PISI).
Pine Siskin: with yellow on primaries and retrices

PISI: possesses a considerable amount of yellow on its back, a trait
that you do not always get to see when it visits your feeder or in the field
 Since we're talking winter birds, the Winter Wren (WIWR), which can be found hunting for dormant insects and spiders in the dead of winter in this area, has been in good numbers. A few House Wrens (HOWR) are still moving through the region as well. So we thought we would share some comparisons so that you can be up to speed in case you come across a wren in winter that may not be a Winter Wren.
WIWR-left and HOWR-right
Note: WIWR is darker on underside than HOWR

WIWR is smaller and has a more pronounced eye line than the HOWR.

WIWR left and HOWR right:
Undertail coverts are dark on WIWR and light on HOWR
This corresponds to the light and dark undersides of both birds mentioned above.

 Take time to enjoy the last warm days of fall. There may be a stray long distance warbler still lurking around.

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