Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Northern Waterthrush

Despite its name, the northern waterthrush is a warbler and not a thrush and has the same migration habits of other warblers I've dealt with recently. It summers in large portions of Canada and Alaska and small portions of the northern U.S. It winters in southern Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador, the Caribbean and portions of Florida. 
Northern waterthrush range from Wikipedia.
It has a brown crown, white supercilium (stripe above the eye), brown to black streaking on the throat and underparts and brown back and wings. 
They typically winter in mangroves and summer in wet woodlands near water. Their diet consists of some water foods, including mollusks (such as snails), minnows and crustaceans as well as insects, spiders and worms. 

I saw this northern waterthrush in the North Woods of Central Park in New York City near a large pond. It was over the water, walking on branches and logs and wading in the water. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Blackpoll Warbler

In my last post, on the black and white warbler, I noted that I photographed one in Central Park in New York City and when I posted the photos to iNaturalist, one observer noted that my photos contained two species, the other being a blackpoll warbler. That was a nice surprise: I had the photos intermixed with each other. I don't know if I saw one and then the other, or saw them both intermixed over an interval of time. My impression at the time was that the same bird went from one tree to another and I may have just spotted another species in a different tree. 

The breeding blackpoll warbler has a black cap instead of a striped crown, has a white instead of a black cheek, and orange instead of black legs and feet. Non-breeding blackpoll warblers have a greenish head, greenish upperparts with dark streaks and yellowish breasts.  

It breeds through most of Alaska and Canada down into a piece of northern New England. They winter in the Antilles Islands and northern South America. Many of them have a 1,600 mile long distance non-stop migration, one of the longest of any bird. However, they don't all do that non-stop junket as evidenced by the bird I saw in Central Park. 
Blackpoll warbler range from Wikipedia.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Black and White Warbler

The black and white warbler is black and white, with lots of both.
My best photo, from Big Morongo Preserve.
Breeding males have a black and white streaked throat and black cheek. Females have a gray cheek and a cream-colored throat and sides. Both sexes have a black and white crown, a white eyebrow, a white belly with black streaking, black wings with two white wingbars, a black tail, a black and white streaked back, streaky undertail coverts and gray-black legs and feet. 

It summers in northern and eastern North America and migrates to winter in Florida, southern Texas, the West Indies and Mexico down to northern South America. 
Black and white warbler range from Wikipedia.
I saw my first black and white warbler at Big Morongo Preserve in California on April 8th of this year. I was on one of the trails near several other people and they spotted it. 

I saw my second black and white warbler in the North Woods of Central Park in New York City in May as part of a bird walk. Most of the group was together, a short distance away, looking at other birds. I was off on my own, scanning the trees and saw it walking up down and around a tree. When I posted photos on iNaturalist an identifier noted that I had two different birds mixed into my photos. There was the black and white warbler, but also a blackpoll warbler. 

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Magnolia Warbler

On my bird walk in New York City's Central Park I heard several references to Magnolia warblers, but many more to a "maggie" which I understood to be short-hand for a Magnolia warbler. As with others in this warbler collection, I did not realize I had a photo of a magnolia warbler until getting home and working on my photos. However, in the case of this maggie, I only have one relatively decent photo. 

The magnolia warbler breeding male has a white, gray and black back and head, yellow sides and throat, a yellow stomach with black stripes and white wing bars. Breeding females are similar, but duller. 

They summer in Canada and the Great Lakes region of the U.S. and winter in southern Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
Magnolia warbler range from Wikipedia. 

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Canada Warbler

At my bird walk in New York City's Central Park we spent some time at the side of a small lake and a yellowish bird was flitting around in two trees on the side of the lake. There were five or six of us trying to take photos of the bird and I asked one what kind of bird it was and he said, a "Canada," which meant nothing to me. After lots of photos one of them asked me if I'd gotten any good photos and I replied that I had "no idea," but with all the photos I'd taken I hoped one or two would be decent. 
The bird was a Canada warbler, another bird I'd never heard of. It summers in portions of Canada and the northeastern U.S. and winters in northern South America. 
Canada warbler range from Wikipedia. 
One observation, now that I've looked up a number of these warblers, is that the warblers I saw were much skinnier than the ones I'm seeing in photos. I'm assuming that the ones I was seeing were on the tail-end of a long migration from South America to the U.S. and that their time in their summer range would fatten them up. 
The chest, throat and belly is yellow and it has a dark gray back. It has a black necklace which has wiggly strands, a yellow line in front of its eyes and white eyerings. Females are not as bright and have a shorter tail. 

Friday, May 26, 2023

Bay-Breasted Warbler

In New York City's Central Park in May I was on a bird walk with a guide and 30 other participants. It was a fairly aggressive group with lots of nice cameras and long telephoto lens, people with keen eyesight and a prodigious knowledge of New York City birds. I was two weeks away from lazer surgery on my eye to clean-up cloudiness that had developed from a prior cataract surgery that made even reading in that eye difficult. My good eye, which had cataracts not developed enough to warrant their removal, was 20/30, and it was very difficult for me to see birds. 

As we walked along, at one point, I remember someone saying excitedly, "a bay-breasted warbler" and the group rushed over for a look and flurry of photos. I thought, "I would really like a photo of that." 

When I got back home and started working on my photos, enlarging images and lightening up dark areas, I started to see warblers I'd heard discussed but had not knowingly seen. Two of those were  bay-breasted warblers. After the group had left a particularly productive area, I stayed back with a couple of other stragglers and photographed birds not knowing what I was photographing. I had no idea what a bay-breasted warbler looked like. I was excited to find that I'd photographed two of those coveted warblers. 
The bay-breasted warbler breeds mostly in Canada, about Great Lakes level along the border with the U.S., and west into central Canada, going further north. It then migrates south for the winter, to southern Central America, northern South America (portions of Colombia and Venezuela) and the Caribbean Islands (which the map does not reflect). I probably caught this bird on the way north. 
Bay-breasted warbler range from Wikipedia.
Adult males in breeding plumage are mostly gray above, with two white wing bars, dark streaks on the back, a black face, a creamy neck patch, creamy underparts, and the crown, throat and sides a dark chestnut. Breeding females are similar, but duller. Non-breeding males and females are olive-green on the back, nape and head and the rufous flanks very limited or non-existent on females. 

Thursday, May 25, 2023

American Redstart

My last post was on the Cape May warbler which I saw wintering in Jamaica and migrating north in New York City. This post, on the American redstart, is another warbler I saw wintering in Jamaica 
This American redstart was near Konoko Falls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. 

This American redstart was at Rocklands Bird Sanctuary outside of Montego Bay, Jamaica. 

and in New York City where they were either still migrating north or had stopped to breed. 
This and the following American redstarts were in Central Park. 

The American redstart is a warbler that breeds in North America, in Canada and the eastern U.S., and winters in Central America, the West Indies and northern South America. 
American redstart range from Wikipedia.
Breeding males are black above with orange-red patches on their wings and tail. The sides of the breast are orange and the rest of the underparts are white. In non-breeding plumage they have green in their upperparts with black central tails and gray heads. Females have yellow where the breeding males have orange. 
Male American redstart in Central Park in New York City. 

Female American Redstart in Central Park.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Cape May Warbler

The Cape May warbler is named after Cape May, New Jersey where the specimen was collected that was first identified with the name. However, the warbler was not seen there in the next 100 years, but is now an uncommon migrant there. 

Males have a brown back, yellow rump, dark brown crown, yellow throat and nape, a chestnut patch on the face surrounded by yellow and a black eye-stripe and yellow underparts streaked with black. Females are washed-out versions of the male. 
It breeds through eastern southern Canada, mid-central Canada, the Great Lakes area and New England. It migrates to the West Indies where it spends the winter. 
Cape May warbler range from Wikipedia.
I saw a Cape May warbler at Hotel Mockingbird Hill near Port Antonio in northeastern Jamaica in February of this year. However, I was disappointed in the fact that I was only able to photograph the underside. 

In Central Park in New York City in May I was able to get photos of the upperparts of a Cape May Warbler and was very happy to get a better view of this beautiful bird. 

It is fun to have seen it close to both ends of the migration route. The one I saw in New York must have been traveling north to New England or Canada.