Tuesday, September 21, 2010

When in Cape May. . .

[. . .shouldn't there be Cape May Warblers? Well, maybe. Cape May Warblers are uncommon overall in Cape May - the name derives from a specimen collected here in 1809, not because they are easy to see here. Part of the problem may be i.d. - I heard a number of birders remark, "I'd never have identified it," about this female in front of the Northwood Center late afternoon today. Some immature females lack yellow entirely - the grayness is a field mark, together with the streaks and pointy, decurved bill. This was the final bird of CMBO's Bird and Tree I.D. Workshop. . . I think the last tree was Willow Oak.]

[Cape May Warblers show a yellow, or at least yellowish-green rump. Same bird as above, today. Sometimes individual Cape May Warblers return to the same tree on successive days, so it might not be a bad idea to check the oak to the left of the Northwood Center steps tomorrow, where this bird was photographed.]

[Time to get good at this one - Yellow-rumped Warblers, other than spring males, are brownish, a scarce color in the warbler clan. Yellow patches at the chest sides can be faint or lacking. The eye arcs are always there, and note how the white throat extends around back towards the nape. This is a biggish warbler, with a stouter bill than many (e.g. the Cape May above), evidence of its ability to pluck and eat berries. Also outside Northwood today, where there were Magnolias, Black-throated Blues, and a few others.]

No comments: