Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bulletin #138 - migration #4 - warblers

David McDonald Photography
Friendswood TX

(Click on image to see larger photo)

The Common Yellowthroat  (Geothlypis trichas) is a very widespread warbler in North America. It lives in marshy areas. I noted how brown the breast and belly were, so looked in Sibley. The eastern form is like this, but western birds are more yellow - white on the breast and belly. Also, the shape of the black mask and white line above varies. There are many subspecies in North America (about 13).

This male Bay-breasted Warbler (Dendroica castanea) was very cooperative by staying in a dead leafless tree for about 1 hour and allowing everyone to get good looks and photos.

The male Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia) is another widespread species in North America. This was my first opportunity to get a photo of this bird at the drip. It is IDed by being all yellow, and the male has the reddish breast streaking.

American Redstarts (Setophaga ruticilla) were everywhere the last few days. The male is black with orange wing and tail patches and orange flanks.

The female is gray with yellow patches. These birds are perhaps the most active warblers when foraging, so the best way to get a photo is at the drip. They fan their tails constantly flashing the colorful patches, as shown here.

There were also many Magnolia Warblers (Dendroica magnolia) recently. This bird is IDed by the yellow underparts with black streaks, gray head and back and white wing and tail patches. Here are 2 photos, with the second showing the white on the tail.

In an earlier bulletin, I showed the male Kentucky Warbler (Oporornis formosus). Here is the female. Notice that the black 'mustache' doesn't extend onto the breast.

The first year female Northern Parula (Parula americana) lacks the breast bands.

Lastly, I obtained my best photos of an Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus). This terrestrial warbler walks along the forest floor, foraging in the leaf litter. Thus it is drab brown above. It has a streaked breast, bright white eye-ring and orange stripe on top of its head. The sexes are similar. This photos shows the profile of the bird.

This photo of its head shows the breast streaking and orange crown stripe.

Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald
photos copyright 2011 David McDonald

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