Friday, September 28

Friday Bird Blogging: Confusing Fall Warblers

Warblers aren't all that difficult to ID in the Spring. Their markings tend to be clear and distinct, and though some are a little tricky, most of them are easy with practice. But in the fall, you're dealing with juveniles, fall plumage, and lots of other confusing markers. This bird in particular gave me a real headache figuring out. None of its markings quite seemed to match what I was looking at in the books.

As it turns out, it's a Pine Warbler. It's also the first one I've ever photographed, which is kind of cool. In Spring, these birds are much more clearly defined; sort of like a goldfinch with stronger wingbars and shaped more like a warbler.

Friday, September 21

Friday Bird Blogging: The Pine Siskin

I'm particularly pleased with this picture because the Pine Siskin was one of my "target" birds. When I saw how similar they look to juvenile house and purple finches, I realized that it would have been easy for one to appear on the feeders without my even noticing it. So I started keeping an eye out and, as luck would have it, I spotted one totally at random. It let me get close enough to get this gorgeous shot of a bird that, weeks earlier, I could easily have confused with another bird entirely.

Friday, September 14

Friday Bird Blogging: The Common Yellowthroat

These are fairly abundant warblers but their populations are declining. Cornell reports its status as:
Not threatened or endangered, but is decreasing in many areas. Local nonmigratory populations in some areas face potential extinction from habitat loss and disturbance.
Though the bird looks fairly distinctive, it's easy to be fooled by fall warblers. This picture, for example, is a common yellowthroat as well, but the black face is not present on females or juvenile males.

Friday, September 7

Friday Bird Blogging: The Least Sandpiper

The smallest shorebird in the world (usually under 6 inches long), the Least Sandpiper is a very small bird, most easily recognizable by its greenish-yellow legs. It's the only shorebird in its size class in the US with such markings, making it an easy spot for people new to birding.

In this particular case, the bird let us get very close to it as we walked a path on the Nelson Island part of the Parker River Wildlife Refuge. Other pictures of the same bird can be found at: