Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Wilson's Warbler


Continuing to share my warbler photos along with information about each species, from my latest book: "Warblers of Arizona, A Guide to Finding and Photographing Warblers in Southern Arizona." 



If you are interested in purchasing it, please email me at exclusivelywildlifephotos.com or info@azuregate.com.



Wilson's Warbler



Common Name: Wilson’s Warbler
Scientific Name: Cardellina pusillae
Conservation Status: Least Concern, though 61% decline over the past 50 years, population estimate at 60 million
Size: 4.75 inches

Description: yellow head and face with variable black crown; faint olive cheek; black eye stands out; white eyering; very small bill that is black on top and yellowish/white below; olive back and dull to bright yellow throat, breast, and belly; no wing bars; long dark tail; pink legs
Male/Female: less or duller yellow with less or no black crown; head more olive than yellow
Range: throughout North and Central America; more common in the Western United States than Eastern
Migration: summers in Canada, winters in Mexico and Central America; migrates through the United States
Season for Arizona: April/May and August/September; occasional sightings at other times
Habitat: willow and alder thickets near water
Community Behavior: solitary or with mixed warbler/titmouse flocks; males will defend nesting and foraging territories from other Wilson’s Warblers by dropping their wings and cocking their tails upward while giving harsh calls
Feeding Behavior: gleans insects among foliage and twigs; will also sally to take flies or bees; most of their foraging is in dense willows, alders, or other shrubs usually less than 15 feet off the ground; will also eat honeydew excretions from scale insects
Diet: larval insects, spiders, beetles, and caterpillars
Nesting Behavior: on ground hidden amongst dead leaves and tufts of grass usually beneath shrubs, young trees, or fallen logs; nests are cup shaped and constructed of leaves, moss, grass, bark, and roots; takes the female 5 days to build her nest; 2-7 white eggs with reddish brown spots; incubation period is 10-13 days; and nestling period is 9-11 days; fledglings may return to the nest for one or two days after fledging
Where to Find in Southern Arizona: throughout lower level mountain ranges near water
Comments: tend to be brighter in color in the West than in the East; first described by Alexander Wilson in 1811 who called it the “green black-capt flycatcher”



Monday, September 18, 2017

Virginia's Warbler


Continuing to share my warbler photos along with information about each species, from my latest book: "Warblers of Arizona, A Guide to Finding and Photographing Warblers in Southern Arizona." 



If you are interested in purchasing it, please email me at exclusivelywildlifephotos.com or info@azuregate.com.


Virginia's Warbler



Common Name: Virginia’s Warbler
Scientific Name: Oreothlypis virginiae
Conservation Status: Least Concern, current population estimate is 410,00 but trends are unknown
Size: 4 inches

Description: grayish back and head; white eyering; no wing bars; variable yellow on breast; brighter yellow rump and undertail coverts; long thin gray tail; chestnut crown similar to Lucy’s and Nashville but not often seen
Male/Female: less or duller yellow on throat and breast
Range: Nevada, Utah, and Colorado south throughout Western Mexico
Migration: summer and breeds in Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico; winters Pacific Coast of Mexico
Season for Arizona: April through August
Habitat: dense oak and pinyon forests, brushy streamside hills at elevations between 4,500 and 9,000 feet
Community Behavior: solitary or with other Virginia’s Warblers
Feeding Behavior: gleans insects among foliage and twigs; sometimes on the ground; sometimes probing buds and flowers; usually within 15 feet of the ground
Diet: diet is unknown, but presumably includes insects
Nesting Behavior: on ground hidden amongst dead leaves and tufts of grass usually beneath shrubs or young trees; nests are cup shaped and constructed of moss, grass, bark, and roots; 3-5 white eggs with brown spots; male and female both feed the young; incubation and nestling periods are unknown
Where to Find in Southern Arizona: Mount Lemmon in the Catalinas, Huachuca Canyon in the Huachucas, Madera Canyon in the Santa Ritas, and San Pedro River; check ABA Birding News for this species
Comments: much about the Virginia’s Warbler is unknown; in part due to its relatively limited range and population; and part due to it's preference for dense brush

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Townsend's Warbler



Continuing to share my warbler photos along with information about each species, from my latest book: "Warblers of Arizona, A Guide to Finding and Photographing Warblers in Southern Arizona." 



If you are interested in purchasing it, please email me at exclusivelywildlifephotos.com or info@azuregate.com.


Townsend's Warbler






Common Name: Townsend’s Warbler
Scientific Name: Setophaga townsendi
Conservation Status: Least Concern, small population decline over past 50 years; estimated population of 17 million
Size: 5 inches

Description: high contrasting yellow face with black mask; yellow undereye arc; short black bill; variably black throat with yellow border; dark olive green back; two white wing bars; yellow breast; white belly; side streaking on flanks; white undertail;
Male/Female: female has an olive green crown with thin black streaks; olive cheek patch; yellow cheek, throat, chest, and flanks; some black markings on throat but not nearly like the male; olive back with thin black streaks; white belly and undertail; two white wingbars
Range: Alaska to Nicaragua, Pacific Coast to Colorado/New Mexico
Migration: summer and breeds from Alaska to the Pacific Northwest; winters from Southeast Arizona to Central America
Season for Arizona: year round but higher populations in April/May and August/September/October
Habitat: tall coniferous and mixed coniferous-deciduous forests; wintering in lower elevation mature dense forests, chaparral, and suburban parks
Community Behavior: solitary or mixed warbler/titmouse flocks; however will agressively fight to protect
Feeding Behavior: gleans insects from leaf surgaces and pine needles in the upper third of the tree; anywhere that insects excrete their sugary substance; will also hawk and hover
Diet: insects but also the sugary excretions of scale insects; and occasionally berries
Nesting Behavior: bulky open cup nest of bark, pine needles, small twigs, grass, lichens, and spider cocoons lined with finer grass, feathers, moss, or hair; usually on a main coniferous tree limb concealed by foliage; can be anywhere from 7 to 60 feet above ground; 4-5 white eggs with brown spots; incubation estimated at 12 days; nestling period another 8-10 days
Where to Find in Southern Arizona: most of the Madrean Sky Island mountains at elevations above 4,500 feet
Comments: hybridizes with Hermit Warbler

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Rufous Capped Warbler


Before we get started with today's post I would like to welcome Turkmenistan to our Blog. Turkmenistan is the 134th country to visit our Blog since we started in 2008.

Continuing to share my warbler photos along with information about each species, from my latest book: "Warblers of Arizona, A Guide to Finding and Photographing Warblers in Southern Arizona." 

(If you are interested in purchasing it, please email me at exclusivelywildlifephotos.com or info@azuregate.com.)


Rufous Capped Warbler




Common Name: Rufous Capped Warbler
Scientific Name: Basileuterus rufifrons
Conservation Status: Least Concern, population trends are unknown, current population estimates are between 500,000 and 5,000,000
Size: 5.25 inches

Description: stocky warbler shaped more like a sparrow than typical warbler; rufous head and cheek; bold white supercilium; no eyering; white malar; short stout bill; yellow throat and upper breast; gray and white belly; olive-gray back and wings; no wing bar; long “cocked” tail like a wren
Male/Female: identical
Range: Southeast Arizona to Columbia
Migration: one of the few non-migrating warblers
Season for Arizona: year round
Habitat: dense habitat in mountain foothills and canyons near water
Community Behavior: solitary or with other Rufous Capped Warbler family members
Feeding Behavior: forages more like a wren than a typical warbler, on ground in dense brush
Diet: forages mostly on terrestrial invertebrates including spiders, ants, and caterpillars; not known to flycatch
Nesting Behavior: nothing is known about their nesting behavior
Where to Find in Southern Arizona: very rare bird to the United States; look in very specific locations: Hunter Canyon in the Huachucas, Florida Canyon in the Santa Ritas, Pena Blanca Lake and Pena Blanca Canyon in the Pajaritos
Comments: very little is known of this rare bird

Friday, September 15, 2017

Red Faced Warbler


Continuing to share my warbler photos along with information about each species, from my latest book: "Warblers of Arizona, A Guide to Finding and Photographing Warblers in Southern Arizona." 



If you are interested in purchasing it, please email me at exclusivelywildlifephotos.com or info@azuregate.com.


Red Faced Warbler




Common Name: Red Faced Warbler
Scientific Name: Cardellina rubrifrons
Conservation Status: Least Concern, population trends are unknown; Red Faced Warblers are sensitive to disturbance during breeding; global estimates are 700,000
Size: 5.5 inches

Description: red face, chin, throat, and upper belly; black cap that extends down sides of head; short thick dark bill; single white wing bar; pale white rump; whitish belly and undertail coverts; long gray tail
Male/Female: nearly identical; female may have a slightly paler face
Range: Southeast Arizona/New Mexico to Honduras
Migration: summers in Arizona and Mexico, winters in Central America
Season for Arizona: April through September
Habitat: higher elevation (6400 to 9000 feet) pine-oak forests; shaded canyons near water
Community Behavior: solitary or with other Red Faced Warblers or Painted Redstarts
Feeding Behavior: gleans insects primarily from tips of mid-tree branches hopping quickly from branch to branch; will sally out to snatch flies
Diet: forages mostly on terrestrial invertebrates including spiders, ants, and caterpillars;
Nesting Behavior: nests in small hole in ground beneath logs or plants; open cup of bark, leaves, or pine needles lined with grass and hair; 3-4 pinkish-white eggs with fine brown speckles; incubation is 13-15 days; nestling is 11-13 days; both parents feed the young
Where to Find in Southern Arizona: Mount Lemmon especially Incinerator Ridge, Marshall Gulch, and Bear Wallow; also Huachuca Canyon, Madera Canyon, Miller Canyon; this is a priority find for out-of-state birders
Comments: either sex solicits copulations; both male and female quiver their wings during courtship with the male showing off its white rump patch; may have multiple partners during the breeding season

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Prothonotary Warbler


Continuing to share my warbler photos along with information about each species, from my latest book: "Warblers of Arizona, A Guide to Finding and Photographing Warblers in Southern Arizona." 


If you are interested in purchasing it, please email me at exclusivelywildlifephotos.com or info@azuregate.com.



Prothonotary Warbler





Common Name: Prothonotary Warbler
Scientific Name: Protonotaria citrea
Conservation Status: Least Concern, though loss of 42% over the past 50 years, current population estimate at 1.6 million
Size: 5.5 inches

Description: male has bright orange-yellow head, chin, neck, and breast; black eye with no eyering; large black bill; green back; short broad white underttail with dark tips; blue-gray wings with no wing bars
Male/Female: female is duller with blue-gray face versus bright orange-yellow
Range: northern boundary Minnesota to New York then south along the Gulf Coast of Central and South America; rarely west of the Missouri River
Migration: summers (breeding) in the United States, winters in the Mexican Gult Coast and Atlantic/Pacific Coasts of Northern South America
Season for Arizona: rare to Arizona with about 60 reports; from May through October
Habitat: breed in flooded bottomland forests, wooded swamps, and forests near lakes and streams
Community Behavior: solitary
Feeding Behavior: forages by hopping around along branches, twigs, and ground
Diet: mostly insects including: ants, beetles, spiders, flies, caterpillars, snails, and mollusks; will eat seeds and berries if available
Nesting Behavior: along with Lucy’s Warbler the only warblers to nest in cavities usually created by woodpeckers, chickadees, or natural holes from fallen branches; nest anywhere from 2 to 30 feet off the ground; 3-7 white eggs with brownish spots; incubation 12-14 days; nestling 9-10 days
Where to Find in Southern Arizona: will need to look at ABA’s Birding News and Audubon’s Rare Bird Alert daily; unlike other rare birds to Arizona when they are reported it can be a different location each time (Tanque Verde Wash, Huachuca Canyon)
Comments: named from the bright yellow robes worn by papal clerks, known as prothonotaries

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Palm Warbler


Continuing to share my warbler photos along with information about each species, from my latest book: "Warblers of Arizona, A Guide to Finding and Photographing Warblers in Southern Arizona." 



If you are interested in purchasing it, please email me at exclusivelywildlifephotos.com or info@azuregate.com.



Palm Warbler




Common Name: Palm Warbler
Scientific Name: Setophaga palmarum
Conservation Status: Least Concern, stable population with estimate at 13 million with nearly 100% breeding in Canada, 49% spending some time in the United States
Size: 5.5 inches

Description: black head, nape, back, face, flanks and tail; broad white wing patch; white undereye arc; bright red breast and belly; long white tail; gray vent and black undertail coverts
Male/Female: identifcal
Range: Northwest Territories to Newfoundland and south to the Caribbean Islands and Gulf Coast of Central America
Migration: summers (breeding) in Canada, winters in the Gult Coast including the Caribbean
Season for Arizona: very rare to Arizona with about 30 reports; Spring or Fall when migrating from Gulf to Canada
Habitat: breed in bogs or areas with scattered evergreen trees in the boreal forest; during migration weedy fields, forest edges, fence lines, or areas with scattered trees and shrubs including palms, agaves, or aloes
Community Behavior: solitary
Feeding Behavior: forages by hopping around often on ground but also shrubs
Diet: mostly insects including: ants, beetles, spiders, flies, caterpillars; during the winter will eat seeds and berries if available
Nesting Behavior: cup shaped nest about 3-4 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep on ground nestled in moss at base of tree or shrub; 4-5 white eggs with brown lavender spots; 12 days incubation period; 12 days nestling period
Where to Find in Southern Arizona: will need to look at ABA’s Birding News and Audubon’s Rare Bird Alert daily; unlike other rare birds to Arizona when they are reported it can be a different location each time; this one was photographed at Quail Run Municpal Park in Green Valley
Comments: spend most of their time walking/hopping around on the ground bobbing its tail

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Painted Redstart


Continuing to share my warbler photos along with information about each species, from my latest book: "Warblers of Arizona, A Guide to Finding and Photographing Warblers in Southern Arizona." 



If you are interested in purchasing it, please email me at exclusivelywildlifephotos.com or info@azuregate.com.


Painted Redstart



Common Name: Painted Redstart
Scientific Name: Myioborus pictus
Conservation Status: Least Concern, population estimate at 2 million with 22% in the United States and the rest in Mexico
Size: 5.9 inches

Description: black head, nape, back, face, flanks and tail; broad white wing patch; white undereye arc; bright red breast and belly; long white tail; gray vent and black undertail coverts
Male/Female: identifcal
Range: primarily Southern Arizona and New Mexico with some south to Nicaragua
Migration: summers (breeding) in Arizona and New Mexico and winters in Mexico
Season for Arizona: year round though higher populations from April through September
Habitat: oak and pine forests in mountain canyons, from elevation 4900 feet to 8200 feet
Community Behavior: solitary, Painted Redstart families, or mixed warbler flocks
Feeding Behavior: forages by hopping around at all levels from ground to treetop gleaning from leaves, trunks, branches, and ground debris; sometimes will sally out to snatch flies in midair; flashes its wings and outer tail feathers when foraging; moves up and down older trees similar to creepers
Diet: mostly insects including: ants, beetles, spiders, flies, caterpillars; will take suet, peanut butter, and sugar water from feeders
Nesting Behavior: some males and more than one mate; nests on the ground hidden among rock, roots, or grass on steep slope; 3-4 whitish eggs with brown speckles; incubation is 14 days; young leave nest after 9-13 days; often 2 broods per year
Where to Find in Southern Arizona: any of the Sky Mountain Ranges in Arizona; particularly Mount Lemmon in the Catalinas, Huachuca Canyon in the Huachucas, and Madera Canyon in the Santa Ritas; very conspicuous and easy to find when present; both male and female flash their wings and tail as they look for food
Comments: one of the most beautiful of all Warblers; first described by John Swainson in 1829

Monday, September 11, 2017

Orange Crowned Warbler


Continuing to share my warbler photos along with information about each species, from my latest book: "Warblers of Arizona, A Guide to Finding and Photographing Warblers in Southern Arizona." 



If you are interested in purchasing it, please email me at exclusivelywildlifephotos.com or info@azuregate.com.



Orange Crowned Warbler



Common Name: Orange Crowned Warbler
Scientific Name: Oreothlypis celata
Conservation Status: Least Concern, though declined by 34% in last 50 years worldwide, as much as 64% in the United States; still abundant with numbers estimated at 80 million
Size: 5.5 inches

Description: relatively drab olive color with low contrasting back and breast/belly; variable yellow streaking on belly and flanks; no white bars; faint black stripe through eye; pale yellowish superilium; split eyering
Male/Female: identifcal
Range: Alaska and Northern Canada to Guatamala
Migration: summers in Western United States and throughout Canada, winters in Mexico
Season for Arizona: year round though lower elevations during winter months
Habitat: willows and other deciduous brush, riparian habitat, from low elevation to 10,000 feet
Community Behavior: solitary or mixed warbler flocks or with juncos, chickadees, kinglets, and vireos; males raise their crown feathers to flash their "orange crown" when threatened by other Orange Crowned Warblers; yet they will tolerate other species that prefer similar habitat like Song Sparrows, Wilson's and MacGillivrays Warblers
Feeding Behavior: flit rapidly through dense vegetation gleaning insects from leaves; sometimes will sally to catch a fly in mid-air
Diet: ants, beetles, spiders, flies, caterpillars; also fruit, berries, and seeds; will also take nectar from flowers; occasionally backyard suet and nectar feeders
Nesting Behavior: open cup nest near or on ground 4 inches across and 2.5 inches high; 3-6 white to cream eggs with reddish brown speckles
Where to Find in Southern Arizona: from riparian areas like Sweetwater, San Pedro River, Sabino Creek, and Santa Cruz River to mountain canyons like Madera, Huachuca, Miller, Rose etc.
Comments: Orange Crowned and Yellow-Rumped are the most abundant and easiest to find warblers during the winter months here in Arizona; there are four subspecies that differ in plumage color, size, and molt patterns; the Alaskan subspecies is the dullest and the Pacific Coast the brightest

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Olive Warbler

It is always interesting - to me - to see what countries are visiting our blog. So far today we have visitors from: United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Ukraine, China, Romania, Germany, Portugal,  Spain, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and Philippines. 15 countries on 5 continents -- so far today. We'll see if we get Africa today.




Continuing to share my warbler photos along with information about each species, from my latest book: "Warblers of Arizona, A Guide to Finding and Photographing Warblers in Southern Arizona." 

If you are interested in purchasing it, please email me at exclusivelywildlifephotos.com or info@azuregate.com.




Olive Warbler



Common Name: Olive Warbler
Scientific Name: Peucedramus taeniatus
Conservation Status: Least Concern, probably stable in its range, not well studied though with population estimates ranging from 500,000 to 5 million (obviously difficult to estimate due to habitat
Size: 5.25 inches

Description: butterscotch color head, chin, throat, and breast; dark black mask; gray back with two white wing bars; gray unstreaked belly; white vent; medium long thin bill; deeply notched tail; white undertail; black legs and feet
Male/Female: the hood in females is more yellow than butterscotch and the mask not nearly as dark; female crown and nape are olive color; (the lower right photo on the opposite page is a female, the others are males)
Range: Southern Arizona to Nicaragua
Migration: considered non-migratory, though in Arizona may move “down-slope” during the winter, some may move south into Mexico
Season for Arizona: year round
Habitat: altitudes of 7,000 feet or more, mostly in upper levels of Ponderosa Pine trees
Community Behavior: solitary or mixed warbler flocks
Feeding Behavior: creeps over branches gleaning insects primarily from pine needle clusters
Diet: mostly insects, but again not well known
Nesting Behavior: breeding and nesting behavior not well known due to its perference to tops of pines at high altitudes; nests usually 30-70 feet off the ground and 15-20 feet out from the trunk; 3-4 bluish-white eggs with olive and brown marks at the ends
Where to Find in Southern Arizona: Mount Lemmon, specifically Alder and Inspiration Point picnic sites, Incinerator Ridge, Bear Wallow, Rose Canyon, Bear Canyon
Comments: originally clasified as a New World Warbler but now given its own family; named "Olive Warbler" though no olive color on male; what makes it unique and beautiful is its bright "butterscotch" hood with black mask

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Northern Parula


Continuing to share my warbler photos along with information about each species, from my latest book: "Warblers of Arizona, A Guide to Finding and Photographing Warblers in Southern Arizona." 



If you are interested in purchasing it, please email me at exclusivelywildlifephotos.com or info@azuregate.com.



Northern Parula




Common Name: Northern Parula
Scientific Name: Setophaga americana
Conservation Status: Least Concern, stable or slightly increasing population estimated at 13 million
Size: 4.5 inches
Description: blue back; yellow throat and breast; chestnut breastband; white eye arcs; yellow bill; two white wing bars; white belly and tail underparts; short tail with white spots
Male/Female: males have darker lores and breastband
Range: Southeastern Canada to Guatamala and the West Indies
Migration: winters in Northern Central America and the West Indies, summers in the Eastern United States and Southern Canada
Season for Arizona: rare to Arizona, 5 birds per year
Habitat: habitat changes by season and location, but primarily a forest dwelling warbler; riparian areas in Arizona at mostly lower elevations; like epiphytic plants that grow on trees such as moss or mistletoe
Community Behavior: solitary
Feeding Behavior: gleans insects from tips of branches hopping from branch to branch
Diet: forages mostly on terrestrial invertebrates including spiders, ants, and caterpillars; sometimes berries
Nesting Behavior: hollows out a mass of hanging vegetation and creates a side entrance and cup; nests are about 3 inches across and 2 inches deep; nest building takes about 4 days; nests could be as high as 100 feet off the ground; 2-7 white to creamy eggs with red/brown spots; incubation period is 12-14 days; nestling period is 10-11 days
Where to Find in Southern Arizona: likes hanging vegetation so cottonwoods are idea; Sweetwater Wetlands, Santa Cruz River are two favorite spots for this rare to Arizona Bird
Comments: was originally called the Blue Yellow-backed Warbler; nesting in moss makes it very unique even among all birds