Thursday, October 09, 2008

Mystery Bird Quiz #5 Answer


All right. Nice guesses all around, people! I agree that this one is a toughie. The correct answer is Cape May warbler. And I believe the bird is a fall adult male.

The first thing you notice about this bird is the striped upper back and the bold white wing bars. Unfortunately the "clincher" field mark of a fall Cape May (the contrasting, lime-colored rump) is not visible. but the bold wing bars and the yellowish wash on the part of the face that's visible are great field marks for a fall adult Cape May. Some fall adult males still show a lot of the rufous in the faceā€”but this one does not.

A Blackburnian warbler in fall does share the Cape May's white wing bars, but the Blackburnian's are bolder. Also a Blackburnian in fall would show pale or white lines (not streaking) along a blacker back.

A black-throated green warbler in fall has an unstreaked upper back.

Blackpoll warbler is another good guess. But I think the larger wing bar is too obvious for a fall blackpoll. And the bird is too yellowish overall, especially in the face.

Below are a few other Cape May warblers in various seasons.

A fall Cape May warbler showing the classic, clinching field mark: the contrasting lime rump


A fall Cape May warbler male. This bird is retaining hints of it breeding plumage coloration. Note the huge wing bar.

Breeding-plumaged Cape May warbler in spring.


Breeding-plumaged Cape May warbler in spring. Note the rufous face and the bold wing bar.

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6 Comments:

At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Julie Zickefoose said...

Isn't the proper term for the Cape May's field mark "lemon-lime badonkadonk?" A BOTB original.

 
At 3:18 PM, Anonymous Bill of the Birds said...

fo'shizzle

 
At 6:52 PM, Anonymous KatDoc said...

I knew those bold wing bars had to be important, but I was confusing them with the "back pack straps" of a RT Hawk!

Had you shown the badonadonk, I would have gotten the right answer.

~Kathi, whose new approach to the bird quiz is to cheat off Ethan

 
At 9:27 PM, Anonymous Deborah said...

It was the bold wing bars that led me astray; I was guessing immature female. Such an amateur!

DG

 
At 9:28 PM, Anonymous Deborah said...

It was the bold wing bars that led me astray; I was guessing immature female. Such an amateur!

DG

 
At 9:42 PM, Anonymous Mary said...

I have no option except to cheat :o)

 

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