Sunday, June 21, 2009

Really Weird Looking Yellow Warbler

I know, I know, I am posting like crazy today but have been on a birding roll if you will. I was going to wait to post these this week with some of my other bird photos I have taken today but decided to post this on its own as it is just too bizarre.

I went back to St Phils tonight to check on the Black-crowned Night Heron and was just about to leave (because it was pouring out!), when suddenly I could hear the chip call of a bird in some bushes directly in front of me. I stood back a little and did some pishing and out she came! I believe she is nesting in there and wanted to find out who the jerk was who was near her home and causing all the commotion. Check out the brown right between her eyes. I have looked at all four of my bird guides and none of them have this as a field mark. Perhaps it is a genetic mutation of sorts?????

Note: Thanks Abe and Richard for the confirmation that Stokes has a Yellow Warbler that looks like this. I am wondering how come none of the other guides do though. Will have to find someone I know who owns the book so they can give me more detail because by the time I get it from Amazon, I may have my answer.

I do have an old Audubon Book of Eastern Land Birds and this is a tidbit of info I found interesting.
"This is our only bird which has an all yellow appearance in the field. Males of some tropical American races, including that of the Florida Keys, hav a reddish-brown patch on the top of its head".

Maybe that's what I have here????


Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hmmmmmm---guess she's just unique and different, Kim.... Does that make this one a new 'lifer' for you???? ha ha ha


Tina said...

A good catch, Kim! I will be interested to hear what more of the bird experts say about your brown speckled yellow warbler!!
Don't you just hate all this rain..sure makes birding more difficult..I'm so ready for some sunny days!!

Richard said...

Good catch. Looks just like the picture in the Stokes Field Guide To Warblers, pg 43.

Kallen305 said...

Richard, that's a field guide I don't have. Is it for a Yellow Warbler??? LOL, seriously I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

I think Richard might be right. You can get the guide on or could.

Richard said...

It's a female Yellow Warbler. The Stokes Guide is a great one for warblers.

Deborah Godin said...

My Stokes book is an older Western edition, from when I lived in High Country, but we had Yellow warblers out there too. They do mention that there are a lot of subspecies, but don't mention the brown patch specifically. Really fascinating post!

Steve B said...

Kind of reminds me when I moved from Vermont to LA. I was in an arboretum and I saw a big grey thrush like bird with a distinctly yellow chin. After pouring through the guides, wondering what the devil this was, I gave up. Then I found a big tree with huge red flowers. The bird flew into the tree and was drinking the nectar in the flower, which he had to stick his head into. Thus his throat got painted with yellow pollen. It was a Northern Mockingbird!

Steve said...

Whatever it turns out to be it's a colourful little bird Kim. Nice spot.

Kallen305 said...

Thanks All. Steve, I had to LOL when I heard that!!! Grrrrr, birds are so complex sometimes.

I am headed back to St Phils tonight with Alan to see if that bird is there as well as stalk er, um, I mean track the B-crowned Night Heron. I am sure the Night Heron doesn't have a mate but it would be really cool if it did so I am going to check it out. Hopefully the warlber will still be there too so I can get some better pictures of the top of its head. It is a genetic mutation I am sure, but it's very cool to see

Rene said...

That's interesting. Sibley and National Geographic talk about variations in birds making identification difficult, but I've also run into a bird that I simply can't identify. I'd never heard of the Stokes field guide, but I'm definitely going to look into it. Glad you got some confirmation from Abe and Richard, but it would be cool if it was a tropical bird. :)

Kelly said...'ve never seen this variation in the wild!!

Larry said...

Go to Birdforum and post it on the identification section to see what the experts have to say.-I have found birds that got stuff on themselves that left marks.-I don't know what the deal with this one is. Maybe a birdbander thought he'd pull a practical joke by marking the bird.


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