Date: 5/23/20 4:40 am From: Ian Worley <iworley...> Subject: [VTBIRD] Golden and Blue-winged Warblers ... IDing, and submitting to eBird. ** Update.
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 helpful.
Gorgeous weather this holidaty weekend continues for tracking down these gorgeous species! It seems that some new locations are being found.
Ian ======================== 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.
----- 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.