Western Warblers - goodbye summer!

Updated: Oct 21, 2020

One of my aims this year was to get images of all the Washington warblers. I failed, of course, but I got close! We don't have as many of my favourite American bird family here as on the east coast, sadly, but there are still some good ones. Here are my best efforts of the season, from spring through the autumn as we say goodbye to them until next year...

(Click on the smaller images to see them in more detail)

Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas

  • Factoid: someone did a mating behaviour study on these birds and found that if a dummy bird had a black mask put on it, the male would fight with it. If they took the mask off the same male would mate with the same dummy. Go figure...

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audobon's) Setophaga coronata auduboni

  • Factoid: the genus name Setophaga means moth eater (seto = moth, phaga = to eat in Latin) and, indeed, their main diet is insects and invertebrates.

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) Setophaga coronata coronata

Wilson's Warbler Cardellina pusilla

  • Factoid: named after the 18th century naturalist Alexander Wilson. He was the first to catalogue America's bird in a nine-volume work published in 1808 that illustrated 268 species. He died in 1813 of "of dysentery, overwork, and chronic poverty"...

Black-throated Gray-Warbler Setophaga nigrescens

  • Factoid: a west coast warbler that migrates south to Mexico to avoid the northern winter, some occasionally get lost and turn up on the east coast.

Orange-crowned Warbler Leiothlypis celata

Factoid: these sorta dull warblers nest on the ground, probably to avoid arboreal predators.

MacGillavray's Warbler Geothlypis tolmiei

  • Factoid: MacGillavray was a Scottish ornithologist who never went to America. But he was friends with Audubon, who named this warbler after him.

Yellow Warbler Setophaga petechia

  • Factoid: the specific name petechia is the Latin for small, red spots on the skin - a word that is used in medicine, too for the red spots that may form on human skin due to trauma or blood disorders.

Nashville Warbler Leiothlypis ruficapilla

  • Factoid: they don't often go much near Nashville apparently, but this is where Wilson first found one, so that's the name he gave it!

#birds #birding #warblers

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