Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Warblers of Southern Arizona: Yellow Throated Warbler


Continuing my series on Warblers of Southern Arizona, in alphabetical order, next up and last:

Yellow Throated Warbler

Distinctive Identification Marks: large high-contrast warbler with elongated profile; gray back; bright yellow chin, throat, and breast; strongly contrasting black cheek patch, lores, white under eye arc; heavy white supercilium; white wing bars separate black patch; white neck stripe; bright white underparts; long white tail;

Frequency: Casual in Arizona (15 records in Arizona)

Season: Winter

Range: Eastern United States

Habitat:
Tree Tops
Mid Tree

Nests:
Breeds in pine forest, sycamore, and riparian woodlands;
Placed high in trees;
Open nests of bark, grasses, and weed stems; lined with hair and feathers;

Feeding Behavior:
Gleaning: perched bird takes prey from branch
Eats insects and spiders

General Behavior:
Creeping
Skulking

Where to Find: last two years in Patagonia Town Center;

Chance of Finding: 25% when/where reported; otherwise not likely



in mesquite tree

in walnut tree

perched

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Warblers of Southern Arizona: Yellow Breasted Chat




Continuing my series on Warblers of Southern Arizona, in alphabetical order, next up:

Yellow Breasted Chat

Note: There is debate on whether the Yellow Breasted Chat should be classified as a "Warbler"


Distinctive Identification Marks: Large heavy bill; high contrast yellow throat and breast; heavy white eyerings; black lores; largest warbler; long gray tail; 

Frequency: Uncommon 

Season: April through September

Range: Throughout the United States

Habitat:
Lower Tree and Brush
Brush
Ground

Nests:
Bulky cup of grasses, leaves, bark, weed stems, lined with finer grasses; placed in dense shrubs.

Feeding Behavior:
Gleaning: perched bird takes prey from branch
Hawking: perched bird takes prey from air
Pouncing: perched bird takes prey from ground or stream
Eats small invertebrates and fruit

General Behavior:
Creeping
Walking
Very active; constant movement

Where to Find: San Pedro River; Patagonia Sonoita Creek; Empire Gulch

Chance of Finding: Very secretive; more often heard than seen; 10% in season and preferred habitat






Friday, February 5, 2016

Warblers of Southern Arizona: Yellow Warbler




Continuing my series on Warblers of Southern Arizona, in alphabetical order, next up:

Yellow Warbler

Distinctive Identification Marks: plain yellow face with dull yellow eyering; black eye; stout dark bill; variable red streaking on breast; yellow edges on wings; low contrast between underparts and back in southwest;

Frequency: Common

Season: March through September

Range: Throughout the United States and Canada

Habitat:
Mid Tree
Lower Tree and Brush
Wide range from dry scrub to marshes, to forests; from lowlands to 9,000 feet

Nests:
Nests in shrubs or small trees, usually 10 feet off the ground; 

Feeding Behavior:
Gleaning: perched bird takes prey from branch
Diet includes midges, caterpillars, beetles, bugs, and wasps

General Behavior:
Walking (hopping) along small branches
Very active; constant movement
Usually in the tops of shrubs and small trees

Where to Find: San Pedro River, Santa Cruz River, Empire Gulch, Mount Lemmon, Madera Canyon, Pena Blanca Lake

Chance of Finding: 25% in season and preferred habitat






Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Warblers of Southern Arizona: Wilson's Warbler




Continuing my series on Warblers of Southern Arizona, in alphabetical order, next up:

Wilson's Warbler

Distinctive Identification Marks: black cap; yellow underparts with olive back; small bill which is black on top and pale below; pink legs; brighter yellow supercilium; long dark tail; 

Frequency: Common

Season: Spring and Fall

Range: Throughout the United States and Canada, though more common in the West

Habitat:
Lower Tree and Brush

Nesting:
Nests on ground at the base of a shrub; open cup lined with grass

Feeding Behavior:
Gleaning: perched bird takes prey from branch;
Occasional Hawking;
Easts mostly insects but occasional berries

General Behavior:
Hovering
Very active; constant movement

Where to Find: Riparian habitats in all of the Madrean Sky Island Mountains.


Chance of Finding: 60% in season and preferred habitat.

Male

Female

1st Year

On Ground

In Tree


In shrub



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Warblers of Southern Arizona: Virginia's Warbler



Continuing my series on Warblers of Southern Arizona, in alphabetical order, next up:

Virginia's Warbler

Distinctive Identification Marks: grayish back and head; complete white eyering; variable yellow breast; yellow base of tail; long thin gray tail; chestnut crown patch (seldom seen); 

Frequency: Uncommon

Season: April to September

Range: Southwestern United States

Habitat:
Mid Tree
Lower Tree and Brush

Nesting:
Nests are well concealed and little is known; often on steep hillside

Feeding Behavior:
Gleaning: perched bird takes prey from branch

General Behavior:
Hovering
Very active; constant movement

Where to Find: Mount Lemmon

Chance of Finding: usually in small numbers and uncommon makes it a difficult find; best chance is looking where recently reported. At best 10%.








Sunday, January 31, 2016

Warblers of Southern Arizona: Townsend's Warbler




Continuing my series on Warblers of Southern Arizona, in alphabetical order, next up:

Townsend's Warbler

Distinctive Identification Marks:  high contrast yellow face with black mask; yellow undereye arc; variable black throat bordered by yellow; side streaking; yellow breast and white belly; dark olive green back; white wing bars; 

Frequency: Common

Season: Spring and Fall with some year round

Range: Western United States and Canada

Habitat:
Tree Tops
Mid Tree
Mature coniferous forests
Those that stay in winter come down to lower elevations in riparian areas

Nesting:
Nests in coniferous trees well concealed by foliage; open cup of bark, pine needles, and small twigs.

Feeding Behavior:
Gleaning: perched bird takes prey from branch

General Behavior:
Very active; constant movement

Where to Find: Mount Lemmon, Huachuca and Santa Rita Mountains 


Chance of Finding:  80% in the areas mention above during Spring and Fall months.








Friday, January 29, 2016

Warblers of Southern Arizona: Rufous Capped Warbler




Continuing my series on Warblers of Southern Arizona, in alphabetical order, next up:

Rufous Capped Warbler

Distinctive Identification Marks: Large warbler with sparrow-like shape; very long cocked tail; strong white supercilium; rufous cap and cheeks; bright yellow throat and upper breast; white malar;

Frequency: Rare

Season: Any

Range: Extreme Southeast Arizona in the United States; otherwise Mexico, Central and South America

Habitat:
Lower Tree and Brush
Ground

Nesting:
Nests on sides of steep banks

Feeding Behavior:
Gleaning: perched bird takes prey from branch
Eats mostly insects

General Behavior:
Skulking
Wren-like behavior

Where to Find: Pena Blanca Lake and Pena Blanca Canyon (Pajarito Mountains), Florida Canyon (Santa Rita Mountains), Hunter Canyon (Huachuca Mountains)

Chance of Finding: While this is a rare bird to the United States, it resides year round in the four locations mentioned above. Knowing exactly where to look in those four locations increases the odds to 50%.