Saturday, January 23, 2016

Warblers of Southern Arizona: Olive Warbler

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

Olive Warbler

Note: There is debate on whether the Olive Warbler should be classified as a warbler.

Distinctive Identification Marks: Butterscotch head and upper breast (male); Variable dark mask; white wing bars; long, thin bill; olive crown on females; 

Frequency: Uncommon

Season: April through September

Range: Southeast Arizona and Southwest New Mexico

Tree Tops (primarily Ponderosa Pine) at 7,000 feet elevation or higher

Not a lot is know about its nesting behavior since its nest is 30 to 70 feet high up in pine trees; it is usually 15 to 20 feet from the tree trunk

Feeding Behavior:
Gleaning: perched bird takes prey from branch and base of needle clusters;

General Behavior:
Creeping in tree tops

Where to Find: Mount Lemmon, and highest elevations of the Chiricahua, Huachuca, and Santa Rita mountains

Chance of Finding: While it is "uncommon" in its range and habitat, it is rarely seen. It remains in the upper third of Ponderosa Pines. Given that Ponderosa pines can be over 200 feet high it is difficult to find a 5.25 inch bird submerged in 8 inch pine needles at that height. Hiking on canyon edges provides some advantage as you look down into the canyon - or mid tree level. Even in it's range and preferred habitat it's 5% at best.

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