Saturday, August 22, 2015

Finally Success: Male Olive Warbler

I have posted several times over the past month about my trips up Mount Lemmon in Tucson, Arizona looking for Warblers in general and a Male Olive Warbler in particular. I'm guessing 30-40 hours in total.

Olive Warblers are only found in parts of Southeast Arizona, Southwest New Mexico, and the extreme Southwestern part of Texas. And only at or above 7000 feet. On top of that they like the tops of very tall pine trees. That means they are usually 60-80 feet off the ground. 

Complicating matters more, female Hermit Warblers are often mistaken for female Olive Warblers. As a general rule, I assume Hermit Warbler unless it is a male. The male is unmistakeable with its rich butterscotch head, face and throat. Then the dark mask over the eyes is convincing.

But back to my story. This last trip on Thursday I came home not realizing that I had actually found and photographed a male Olive. Now you might ask how that is possible, but again a five inch bird  60-80 feet off the ground and buried in pine needles. I remember the place, it was above the parking lot for Mount Bigelow Trail -- not on the trail itself. This is the area just above Incinerator Ridge. The bird was a mere silhouette to me at the time, so I didn't know what it was.

It wasn't until I got home and sorted through 500 photos that I came across the following Olive Warbler photos;

would have been perfect if in focus

Success at last. And an exciting day.

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