Rare Bird: Golden-winged Warbler

May 15, 2017

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Bill Maynard, a botanist and former high school biology teacher, has worked for various government agencies from Alaska to South Florida and for The American Birding Association. He discovered the 87,000 acre Chico Basin Ranch to be the perfect natural laboratory to study and photograph birds, dragonflies, grasshoppers and other insects. Chico Basin Ranch Natural History Resources : BIRDING CHECKLIST // BIRDING MAP // DRAGONFLY & DAMSELFLY CHECKLIST //

A female Golden-winged Warbler was found on Sunday in the willows below the small headquarters pond.  It was still there on Monday.  This bird is uncommon in its range, mostly northern Midwestern states. It’s problem is its closest relative Blue-winged Warbler.  Both have similar songs, bee-buz for Blue-winged and bee-buz-buz-buz for Golden-winged. Also, they even sing each other’s song at times. Blue-winged Warbler has been encroaching and out- competing in Golden-winged Warbler habitat and so seeing Golden-winged on the Chico was a big and pleasant surprise. This one, no black bib, is a female which makes it even more chickadee-like than it already is. The genetics is quite interesting with 2nd generation backcross hybrids having names, Brewster’s Warbler and the rarer Lawrence’s Warbler a bird with recessive traits. Many people came on Sunday and Monday and were successful in viewing this rarity and as a result more rarities were also found in the area.