Date: 5/23/20 4:40 am
From: Ian Worley <iworley...>
Subject: [VTBIRD] Golden and Blue-winged Warblers ... IDing, and submitting to eBird. ** Update.
Hi everyone,

Lots of reports of winged-warblers in eBird from the Champlain Valley
the last two weeks.  Below is the information email I sent out a week
ago, in case you didn't see it.

There are many good documentations coming in.  To date about 85% of
photos submitted as Blue-winged Warblers appear to be correct IDs. About
40% of photos submitted as Golden-winged Warblers are hybrids and not a
pure Golden-winged.  About 70% of submissions with no photos are doing
nice jobs of enumerating numerous diagnostic features that serve to
identify pure Blue-wingeds and Golden-wingeds, and hybrids.  The
remainder of the submissions don't describe enough characteristics to
fulfill the ID.

When submitting more than one bird for a species or hybrid category, be
sure to describe each individual bird.

It is nice to see so many descriptions of the vocalizations.  Taken as a
whole they clearly illustrate that any pure species or hybrid might sing
any of the songs.  Which means, of course, at least in the Champlain
Valley population the song is not a diagnostic feature separating species.

When looking at possible pure Golden-wingeds, don't forget to note if
there is any yellow wash on the breast or belly, which would indicate a
hybrid.  Likewise, carefully look at and document the color of wing bars
on any bird you see well enough to do so.  If the wing-panel on a
possible Golden-winged is not essentially solid, a good description is

Gorgeous weather this holidaty weekend continues for tracking down these
gorgeous species!  It seems that some new locations are being found.

Best wishes,

May 17, 2020

Hello birders in search of the "winged-warblers" in Vermont.

These fascinating birds are back, perhaps where you have seen them
before, or in newly evolving habitats as abandoned fields begin to fill
with shrubs and trees.  Or maybe a familiar site has changed enough that
it is no longer suitable.

This would be a good time to revisit, or visit for the first time, some
documents which will tell you about the winged-warbler complex, what to
look for when viewing the birds and identifying each individual, and how
to submit to eBird.

----- For a Vermont background on the wing-warbler complex in the state,
read about the "Golden-winged Warbler Conservation" project underway by
Vermont Audubon:

----- In that website is this link to a detailed article about the two
species and their hybrids. Two important aspect of these birds are (a)
vocalizations heard can not be used to determine whether the bird
singing is one or the other of the species or a hybrid, and (b) IDs are
dependent upon combinations of many plumage characteristics.  Here is
the link:

*******----- The last page (page 7) of that article is a table to keep
handy as you bird.  It has eleven diagnostic features to look for,
features that will help you decide if the bird you are viewing is one of
the two species, a named hybrid, a hybrid of some mix of
characteristics, or not possible to figure our from what you saw or heard.

----- For figuring out how to submit your observation to eBird, use this
guide from the Vermont eBird website:

As always, if you are able to photograph a bird or birds, multiple views
are much more helpful than a single photo.  eBird allows up to ten
photos per species.

Happy warblering!

Vermont eBird reviewer for the Champlain Valley
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