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My Life’s Birds: #91

May 21, 2008
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I got back from an awesome (in the original biblical definition of the word) pelagic late last night. Report to come later this week. Here’s something to whet your appetite. Fewer than 10 North American records, but all but one in the last 3 years. I’ll just let that sit for a couple days while I work something appropriate up.

Anywho…

October 2, 1993 – Christian Co, Mo – North America’s wood-warblers are among every birder’s favorite groups of birds. And for good reason, they’re colorful, various, and for many birders, only around for a short period of time. While my official introduction to the warblers came early on with the Prothonotaries that nested down on the banks of the Finley River, I never though much about the diversity until I became aware of the other resident warblers in the area.

The first of these was the little Black and White Warblers that I began to see in numbers in the fall. They were the most obvious and, importantly, the most easily identified of the southbound warblers. As a new birder with little experience making subtle distinctions between similar birds, as can be the case with so many fall warblers, not only is the un-intimidating Black and White appreciated as an easy ID one can make alone, but as a bird with so much personality besides.

These days Black and Whites are the harbingers of spring to come. When I begin to hear that squeaky wheel just as the trees are budding I know spring is on its way, and it won’t be long before the trees are full of leaves and more flashy, but certainly no more enjoyable, warblers.

photo from Flickr

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4 Comments
  1. Jochen permalink
    May 21, 2008 7:45 am

    That’s a mean teaser!

    I think B&W warblers are absolutely neat and one of the most amusing warblers to watch as they dance along the branches like clowns in a circus.

  2. Jochen permalink
    May 22, 2008 2:41 am

    Despite having read your blog carefully, I’ll pretend to still be completely intrigued by what special species you saw on your pelagic…
    Did you see any decent Pterodromas as well?

  3. May 22, 2008 6:54 am

    Hmm, yeah, there is a clue on here. Not my doing though.

    The answer to the Pterodromas is yes. We had two species, the regular Black-caps and a second rarer one. They were pretty amazing, it was quite windy and they were really doing their thing. They followed the boat nearly to shore. Very cool.

  4. Jochen permalink
    May 22, 2008 7:09 am

    I am (still) very curious about the pelagic report!!

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