Thursday, April 11, 2013

Yellow-throated Warbler at Hempstead Lake LI...

Two phone calls within minutes of each other on April 8th, from two Long Island birders Joan Quinlan and Sam Janazzo announced the arrival of one of the goodies warbler aficionados in the NYC area vie for each year.  A Yellow-throated Warbler was evidently making bird watchers giddy with excellent views.  The problem for many birders was that it was a week day and in the morning meaning many birders were stuck at work.  I immediately whipped up a post to get the word out. I later learned that my post allowed several birders to get out and on the bird in a timely manner.

I also got to see the YTWA, but I gambled on the afternoon since I was already tied to scheduled events in the morning.  Once I arrived at Hempstead Lake in the afternoon, I spotted at least 4 birders prowling around including my friend Bobby Berlingeri.  I suggested that we all split up to cover more ground.  I picked a spot I felt had good sun, thinking it would be good for insects.  After looking and listening for about 20 minutes, the Yellow-throated Warbler put in an appearance.  I quickly got the attention of all the birders present and together we got on the YTWA for excellent, extended views.  I spent quite a long time studying this bird and actually got to hear it sing a few times.  It was soft, but no doubt about it.

My first impression was that this bird had all white lores but closer looks confirmed some yellow on the lores and so I was left scratching my head wondering if I was looking at the subspecies Dendroica dominica dominica OR NOT.  Further research and with some feedback from my friend Tom Johnson, it appears that the divisions in this species are not as cut and dry as previously thought and is being challenged by research into the genetics AND morphology of YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER; something that the field guides do not get too much into possibly because the research and findings are fairly new.

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1 comment:

Angry Beaver said...

what is your camera set up? these are great shots. Thanks for sharing.