Saturday, January 9, 2016

Warblers of Southern Arizona: Grace's Warbler

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

Grace's Warbler

Distinctive Identification Marks: yellow chin, throat, and breast; yellow arc under eye; yellow supercilium; white behind eye; black streaking on side; white wing bars; 

Frequency: Uncommon

Season: April through September

Range: Arizona and New Mexico

Habitat: Tree Tops, usually Pine

Feeding Behavior: Gleaning: perched bird takes prey from branch

General Behavior: Usually hidden among pine needles 

Where to Find: Mount Lemmon; Highest elevation in the Huachucha's, Santa Rita's, and Chiricahua's.

Chance of Finding: While this warbler is listed as common it is infrequently seen. There are several reasons for this. 1) they are usually only found above 7000 feet; 2) they are either solitary or one among a small flock of warblers; 3) they  stay in tree canopies often 60 to 80 feet off the ground; and 4) they are usually buried in the pines; and 5) they rarely perch on exposed branches. This reduces the chance to 5-10% even in its preferred habitat. The best strategy is looking down into canyons from the trail or road which can put you closer to eye level.

Lousy Photo but Good for Identifying

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