LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Name This Bird

No, this is not a quiz. I need help identifying this bird. He rested briefly in one of our hanging baskets and I got only one photograph of him. At first glance I thought he was a Junco, but he was not as large as a Junco and the black bill rules that out as well.




My next thought was an American Redstart, but he was a little larger than a Redstart and had no yellow or orange.

I apologize for the poor quality of this shot, the only one I got. (You can click to enlarge.) I don't have a photo-editing program, so I can't bring out any specific qualities. The lower part of the head was more black, as were the areas under the wings. The back was less black...almost a dark blue.

If I rely solely on bird books, I would call this a Black-throated Blue Warbler. I've never actually seen one, and wasn't aware they would be found in Western North Carolina.

I would appreciate any help you may give in helping identify this bird for me. He was quite charming and I was delighted to see him. The photograph was taken three days ago, and there's been no further sighting.

12 comments:

Tina said...

From looking at all my bird books I think your guess of a male black-throated Blue Warbler is correct. Several of my books show that the Appalachian species frequent your area for the spring/summer and then migrate to the Carribbean. Wow! what a thrill to find a bird you might not have seen in your backyard before! :)

KGMom said...

Looks a little bit like a blue-gray gnatcatcher.
Please let us know what the definitive answer is.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I don't know what kind of bird it is but it is GORGEOUS... We had a Red-breasted Grosbeak visit our feeders for 2 days. I assume they were migrating also.

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

Too bad I can't help......I'm not really good at identifying birds. Maybe try Abraham's Bird Blog, Here

And since you like birds, you may just like to read his blog regularly!

Cheryl said...

Unfortunately I cannot help as I am only familiar with out own native species.........

Wonderful to see and I love the fact it is merrily pecking away in the basket....

LauraHinNJ said...

Black-throated blue it is! Gorgeous bird.... those white "handkerchiefs" are a dead giveaway. Nice find!

Bird Girl said...

You lucky gal - a black-throated blue! I've been cruising the roads looking for warblers and you get a wonderful specimen right in your flower basket! Great picture for a quickie, too!

KatDoc said...

Male Black-throated Blue Warbler. The key ID is the white "pocket handkerchief" ...

oh. I see Laura already pointed that out. duh.

Anyway, it is a sweet find.

~Kathi

Toni said...

It is so exciting to see new birds pass through our yards and gardens. Awesome sighting

Jayne said...

How exciting Carolyn! I've never seen one and would not have had a clue either. Lucky you!

fishing guy said...

Carolyn: It certainly is a beautiful bird.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks, all. This was just one lucky thing. What are the odds that we would find a Black-throated Blue Warbler here? And sitting right in a hanging basket on the deck? I feel a bit guilty that I didn't go searching to find this lovely little bird.

I was sitting in a corner of the deck reading. Fortunately I had the camera with me and just happened to look up at just the right time. Twenty seconds sooner or later, and I would have missed him.

Perhaps I should buy a lottery ticket.