Verification of Unusual
Rec. # 2010-11
|Scientific name:||Parula americana|
|Date:||27 May 2008|
|Time:||morning, ca. 8 am|
|Length of time observed:||several minutes, on-off|
|County:||Box Elder Co.|
|Distance to bird:||30 feet|
|Optical equipment:||Leica 10x42 BN binoculars|
|Description: Size of bird:||smallish warbler size (4-5")|
|(Description:) Basic Shape:||warbler-shape|
|(Description:) Overall Pattern:||dark above, pale below|
|(Description:) Bill Type:||thin, warbler-type bill|
Field Marks and
Sorry that it has taken me so long to submit a report on this bird. These are
the notes I took in the field:
Green back. Blue-gray on head & wings (with 2 white wing bars). White eye crescents below eyes. Short tail. Yellow throat bordered sharply by blue gray. Yellow upper breast with pale gray mid-breast & belly. Blue gray collar on upper breast is thin & distinct) [I recall studying that closely in an effort to turn it into a Tropical parula--with no success].
|Song or call & method of delivery:||none described in my notes|
|Behavior:||Gleaning for insects in an old tree.|
|Habitat:||Migrant trap: grove of tall deciduous trees (Cottonwoods, Box elder, Russian olive, etc.) around a man-made pond in a desert valley with salty soil. This is the tallest & lushest growth for many miles around.|
were they eliminated:
1) Tropical parula: Tropical parulas lack the blue-gray band on the upper
breast and the white eye crescents.
Nothing else north of the Mexican border really resembles the Parulas (the Crescent-chested warbler of Mexico does, but has a distinct white eyebrow stripe and a maroon breast crescent rather than a blue-gray band, plus lacks wing bars), but here are some vaguely similar birds found in our region:
2) Cerulean warbler: Males have blue back, lack yellow throat & have heavy streaking on breast & flanks; females lacks breast band, head color is wrong and have a distinct eye stripe.
3) Mourning / McGillivray's warblers: Both of these lack white wing bars and have greenish not bluish-gray wings.
4) Canada warbler: The Canada warbler has yellow eye spectacles rather than white crescents around eye, lacks white wing bars, and the breast band is comprised of black streaks rather than blue-gray band.
this & similar species:
|I have seen it on its wintering grounds in Latin America plus several times back East.|
|References consulted:||National Geographic Society's "Field Guide to the Birds of North America" & Sibley's (thanks to birding buddy Larene)|
|Description from:||Notes taken at time of sighting|
|Observer:||David S. Wheeler|
|Observer's address:||2196 South 1000 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84106|
|Observer's e-mail address:||dswheeer @utah.gov|
|Other observers who independently identified this bird:||Larene Wysse was with me and able to observe the bird.|
|Date prepared:||15 March 2010|
Incredibly, I had my camera, but did not take any photos of this bird because I
was looking for the Wood thrush
reported earlier that week. I did take photos of
mourning doves, etc...
Also, there was a Black & white warbler nearby in the same grove, but I did not take any field notes on its field marks.