LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Monday, August 16, 2010

It Pays to Consult the Birding Experts

I am NOT an expert at bird identification, especially warblers, and especially juvenile warblers. I saw a little yellow bird on Friday but couldn't get a photograph. As luck would have it, he hopped onto the deck on Saturday while I had my camera at the ready trying to find something of interest.

I wasn't at all sure what kind of bird it might be. I thought it was likely a Pine Warbler or possibly a Common Yellowthroat. We had not seen any adult Pine Warblers recently, but we had seen adult yellowthroats. I sent the photographs to a local bird expert.

Imagine my surprise when she told me it was a juvenile Blue-Winged Warbler! A lifer for me, and I had no idea. There are no records of breeding pairs in our county, so it seems this little guy might have wandered over a neighboring county where they are rare, but nesting pairs have been documented.




I won't even complain that it was such a cloudy day and the pictures would have been so much better with in the sunshine.


I was content to have gotten the photograph and glad that I was skeptical enough to seek an expert's opinion. My thanks to all of you who are experts and willing to share your knowledge. Oh, I can't wait for the fall migration!

14 comments:

TaraDharma said...

beautiful bird! I've never seen anything like it out in California. Isn't great when you actually HAVE the camera at hand?!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Wow Carolyn, That is neat that you got pictures of that beautiful bird.... I have never seen one... They are so pretty!!!! I would have thought it was a Pine Warbler myself... Glad you found out what it 'really' is...

Thanks for sharing such a beauty with us... I saw a new bird at my suet feeder today... i knew it was a woodpecker --but it's coloring was different. Ended up that it was a Juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker. It has a dark gray head instead of the red.... Really surprised me!!!!

Have a great evening.
Hugs,
Betsy

Vicki Lane said...

What a beauty! I'm clueless when it comes to warblers -- I mean, the bird book has a whole page called 'Confusing Fall Warblers." Congrats on a great capture!

Cicero Sings said...

What a cutie bird that one is ... and a lifer yet. Nice catch ... you WERE lucky to have that camera handy!

I was refilling the fountain today and had a juvenile pine siskin land on the hose near my hand and a chickadee right on the fountain in front of me. They do love that fountain. Of course I DIDN'T have the camera.

George said...

Congratulations on this addition to your life list. I think the pictures turned out to be just fine.

Barb said...

What a cute little bird - I've never seen one like it. Such a lovely pastel yellow.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

A lovely shot of a seldom seen warbler in your county. Nature is absolutely beautiful however when it comes to identification of its critters it can be tricky sometimes. Thanks for sharing the beautiful bird with us. -- barbara

Jayne said...

How cool Carolyn! Lucky you! I've never seen one either, and well, the warblers are like sparrows at times in terms of ID. Thanks for sharing your guest. :c)

Rudee said...

Congratulations on the catch. I looked at a picture of the adults, and he looks just like this.

You're very patient with that camera of yours--and just look at the rewards.

scienceguy288 said...

I always envy birders. Their encyclopedic knowledge of the birds amazes me, especially when it comes down to little details!

robin andrea said...

That is such a beautiful bird! How lucky to have seen it and then have it return for sch fantastic shots.

Twisted Fencepost said...

Cute little fella!!

KB said...

It is nice that experts are so happy to share their hard-earned knowledge. I think that the photos are spectacular. Thanks for sharing this bird with us!

Ruth said...

How exciting to see this pretty warbler in your yard. I would never have guessed its identity.