Category Archives for // warbler
May 30, 2017

Chestnut-sided Warbler

One of the few warblers with chestnut coloration, Chestnut-sided Warbler is an eastern species so Monday’s birders were happy to see and hear a singing male at Rose Pond. This is a species that prefers second growth mixed woodlands but during migration it is found where the food is.  As in most springs, the food at Chico for warblers is found in peachleaf willows whose blooms attract a variety of insects.  Chestnut-sided Warbler is one of the species where females

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May 15, 2017

Rare Bird: Golden-winged Warbler

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

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May 11, 2017


One of the warblers that is an annual spring migrant on the Chico, Ovenbirds are necessarily dull in plumage because they nest on the forest floor building an oven-shaped nest, a character used for naming this species. They are best know for their loud songs, singing “teacher teacher teacher” for long periods.  The orange crown stripe is sometimes visible and the breast spotting is reminiscent of thrushes.  Its scientific name, Seiurus aurocapillus comes from Greek words meaning to shake its

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May 5, 2017

Magnolia Warbler

The name is deceiving in that Magnolia Warbler in a northern species breeding mostly in Canada and northern U.S. and may never see a magnolia tree.  It is seen most years in spring migration on the Chico and today was a good day as the one seen early eventually found a mist net so it was banded. On their breeding grounds Magnolia Warblers prefer second growth deciduous woods and coniferous forests.  Like Yellow-rumped Warbler, Magnolia Warblers also have a yellow

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April 24, 2017

Come On Warblers

The first “good” warbler of spring was a singing male Northern Parula in the headquarters willows.  An eastern species and annual migrant on the Chico it was foraging high in the catkins of the willows along with an Orange-crowned Warbler and Ruby-crowned Kinglets.  Northern Parulas are small, short, and somewhat pot-bellied and not hard to look at.

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October 28, 2016

Late Migrant Warbler

In spite of the name American Redstart, this species is only reddish on adult spring males, the females and young males have yellow, not red. It is one of our more common, migrant, non-breeding warblers. In October, most, but not all warblers have migrated south so seeing this young male redstart at HQ was a treat.  The name comes from a corruption of the Old German name, rothstert meaning “red tail” but the European bird for which our redstart is

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September 16, 2016

Rare Bird: Prothonotary Warbler

One of the warblers every birder wants to see is Prothonotary Warbler.  The name comes for the very bright yellow that was compared to the yellow hoods of papal notaries. A better name, and one which was historically used for this species, is “Golden Swamp Warbler” which accurately describes both the color and the location where this species breeds.  It is in fact a swamp species and one of only two warblers who nests in tree cavities.  The closest to

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September 8, 2016

Rare Chico Warbler

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies’ fall biologist/bird bander, Laura Marie Koitsch, captured, photographed (above) and banded a rarely seen (in Colorado) Canada Warbler this morning at the Chico banding station. This species has been seen a few times on Chico but this is the first one to be captured at the banding station since its inception. Canada Warbler, as the name implies, breeds north of us and mostly in the East, but they do breed due north of Colorado in

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September 7, 2016

Fall Bird Banding

During September the most commonly caught bird on the Chico is almost always Wilson’s Warbler (photo). They are an abundant breeding species from Alaska all across Canada to the eastern Canadian provinces and they are most common in the West. However, so far this fall, both the large Brown Thrasher and the diminutive House Wren have been caught and banded way more times than Wilson’s Warblers; the warblers just beginning to show up in the nets. The amount of black

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May 21, 2016

I Am So Lay-zee

In spite of the males’ song, “I am so lay-zee”, the Black-throated Blue Warbler is a birder’s favorite.  Highly sexually dimorphic, the females look nothing like the striking blue, black, and white males (photo).  How does an eastern species mainly wintering in the Bahamas and West Indies end up on the Chico most years during migration?  There are numerous winter records from the Yucatan Peninsula and northern Honduras suggesting this warbler also winters west of the described range and giving

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