Date: 11/2/18 5:49 pm
From: Betsy Kane (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Re: confusing fall warbler for a so-so birder
I'm calling this a Cape May warbler based on a comparison of my notes to
this suggestion by several responders -- thank you for bringing this other
species to my attention. First there was that really obvious oval of olive
color on the lower back. A couple of bird ID sites I reviewed (can't
recall if Audubon or Cornell) do note that this warbler is fond of conifers
even in migration and often forages in eastern red cedars when off its
breeding range of spruces. Species behavior notes for this bird include
foraging behavior of hanging upside down at the ends of conifer tips which
is much like what I noted above. The lack of yellow undertail coverts
seems like a miss for even a pretty dull palm warbler, especially since
this bird was turning around and visible from lots of angles. The low-key
dull breast streaking on a pale background is consistent, as well as the
lack of much facial markings, only a dark smallish eye, with Audubon ID
website photo of a dull female (in a juniperus virginiana as it happened).
If someone wants to discuss further or provide counterarguments, I am
interested in hearing those.

Thank you to all those who brought CM warbler to my attention. So far I
have had no other species suggestions. I certainly would not have gone
looking at that on my own so it was most helpful.

Betsy Kane
Washington, N.C.

On Fri, Nov 2, 2018 at 7:40 PM Betsy Kane <oldurbanist...> wrote:

> Last weekend (Oct 27 or 28) I had a bland little warbler foraging in a
> medium-sized eastern red cedar tree in the yard here in Little Washington
> on the Pamlico. I had just a few glimpses of it (and only one quick look
> through the binocs) before it took off, but got a decent look at two field
> marks in particular:
> - multiple thin dull streaks on a very light breast
> - had one good dorsal view of the bird showing an overall dull color but
> with a good sized olive green patch on the lower back to rump (not really a
> "patch", as the oval of olive green blended into the rather dull gray or
> dun-gray rest of the back of the bird)
> The other "field mark" in terms of behavior: This bird went rather
> variously among the foliage of the cedar tree, turning sideways and around,
> moving frequently and in variously angled poses. About 15 feet up most of
> the time. Active, for a warbler, but not excessively active like a
> kinglet. And seemed to be after something(s) tucked away all inside and
> about the cedar tree.
> The rest of the bird was just pretty dull. I thought it was just pale
> underneath, but didn't get a good look at the undertail coverts. And the
> head and face, blandish, all I got was a somewhat dark small eye & if any
> facial markings, they were not strong.
> I guess it could be a dull version of palm warbler. Is there anything
> else I should be looking at?
> Betsy Kane
> Washington, N.C.

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