Saturday, August 8, 2015

Warblers of Mount Lemmon: Summary

Many warblers are hard to find, let alone photograph. Some like the Grace's and Olive's stay in the tree tops some 40 to 80 feet off the ground. They can be completely hidden by leaves or pine needles. Your only hope is to see them fly from tree to tree.

In other cases, such as the Painted Redstart, Lucy's, Nashville, Wilson's, they like brush and can even be seen on the ground at times. 

As for identifying them, sometimes that too can be challenging. Case in point, the Olive Warbler. For those people with a fine ear (and memory) hearing becomes the best way to distinguish  a female Hermit Warbler from a female Olive Warbler. That's if the birds are vocal. But trying to identify a female Olive by sight in real time? Not very likely. Even with good photographs of both an Olive and a Hermit it is difficult. I have on several occasions come home thinking I have an Olive photograph when after careful study concluded it was a Hermit.

Nonetheless, for a birder or photographer spending a few hours in the wilderness of Mount Lemmon can be exciting when a mix flock of Warblers rolls through a canyon. We are used to spending an hour and not seeing anything -- then all of a sudden there are so many birds you don't know what to try to photograph first.  

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've been trying to concentrate on Warblers of Mount Lemmon. Here's a summary of what I've photographed in the past three weeks:

Black Throated Gray Warbler

Grace's Warbler

Hermit Warbler

Lucy's Warbler

Nashville Warbler

Painted Redstart

Red Faced Warbler

Townsend's Warbler

Virginia's Warbler

Wilson's Warbler

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