Date: 5/31/18 6:15 am
From: Geoffrey Williamson <geoffrey.williamson.21...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...>
Subject: Re: IBET Need help on Montrose 5-26 VERY light throated female Connecticut W pix
I looked at this too and wrote Kathy that this bird didn't strike me as
unusual for a Connecticut. In a private thread with some other folks, here
is what I wrote.

I find nothing about the bird, other than the tone of yellow, that is
problematic with Connecticut. I don't think it is a great pair of photos
for making a slam-dunk case for species identification, but to me they
favor Connecticut over anything else. I think the eye ring is thick and
complete (though at the front of the eyering there is that "splaying" of
the gray feathers that obscures the ring if it is there). The brightness
of the yellow underparts I assume to be a photographic or post-acquisition
processing effect; everything in the photo looks too green-yellow to me.
As for the length of the undertail coverts, yes, there is a lot of tail
showing, but that effect can be captured in images of good Connecticuts and
it's something that I have seen on birds in the field when looking for this
feature. I don't know for certain if the stretched out posture can help
the undertail coverts extend less far down the tail, but it makes sense to
me that that would happen. The bill also looks to me to be Connecticut
like and not Mourning/MacGillivray's like, although just as I am saying
that with the other features one or two photos doesn't necessarily
substantiate conclusions, I can't claim that this bird's bill is too big
for Mourning -- it just looks that way to me. And I don't see anything
particularly unusual about the hood on this bird. A lot of Connecticut
hoods seem to me to be pale in the chin/throat area (but always with a
complete darker band below the pale area).

I will add, too, that the bill size and thick-in-the-middle structural
appearance of the bird make me think Connecticut before Mourning on first

A lot of the available features on this bird are qualitative and
degree-of-this-or-that type things, which makes identification problematic,
especially when you are working only from one or two photos. I know that I
like to see these birds walking (or hopping), or hear it sing, to make
things conclusive.

Good birding,

On Thu, May 31, 2018 at 7:18 AM, Matt Wistrand <mwistrand...>
[ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> wrote:

> If I had seen that bird, I would have called it a first-year female
> Mourning Warbler. The yellow underneath is brighter than I'd expect to see
> on a Connecticut, the eyering appears broken in the front, and the
> undertail coverts stop too far short of the end of the tail. Plus, there's
> the lighter throat which is common in first-year female Mournings. Then
> again, I've only been birding for ~6 years and my knowledge reflects that,
> so perhaps others can prove me mistaken. As for the apparent contrast in
> the first photo, that may just be lighting, since the second photo shows a
> more consistently-colored hood.
> Matt Wistrand
> West Chicago, DuPage
> On Wed, May 30, 2018 at 9:43 PM Kathy Noerenberg <klnrbnut...>
> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> wrote:
>> I was at Montrose during much of the same time of this EBird report that
>> has 2 pix of a unique to me very light colored grayish-white throat on a
>> Connecticut Warbler that is much lighter in color than its hood. Other
>> people like Al S. saw a Connecticut W. that day too.
>> The *key* is this: Is this a *uniquely very light* *grayish-white
>> throated Connecticut that is much lighter than its hood *or is this more
>> common than I have ever seen before?
>> I remember seeing what looks to be this bird and commenting about the
>> throat on my voice recorder. However, I never saw the eyes of this bird but
>> clearly saw the entire bottom and some of the side of the bird. It was
>> obviously either a female Mourning or Connecticut warbler but having never
>> seen a bird like this and to be conservative, I counted it as a female
>> Mourning.
>> Here is the link for this EBird report for the same day with the 2
>> pictures of the COWA.
>> *Question *- Have you ever seen a female Mourning OR female Connecticut
>> Warbler with this light of a throat especially compared to its hood color?
>> Besides a learning experience, the reason I am asking is If this is quite
>> unique, I will count it as a Connecticut Warbler. This would be exciting
>> for me since I have not seen one so far this year (at least the white eye
>> ring)
>> Thanks as always for helping me learn to be a better birder!
>> Kathy Noerenberg
>> Western Springs, Cook County

Geoff Williamson

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