No question this is a male Bay-breast. A trace of bay along the lower
flank is clearly visible on the third photo down from the top. Among
fall warblers only some adult male Chestnut-sided Warblers share this
feature and this is clearly a "baypoll". Other features pointing to
Bay-breast include the solid grayish pink tarsi and toes, the poorly
defined mantle streaking, the poorly developed face pattern, and the
bright greenish yellow breast and face with little obvious blurry
streaking on the breast.
Interesting how the change in exposure/lighting between the first two
photos posted made the bird look respectively "blackpoll-gray-green" and
"bay-breast-yellow-green". Also one should always photograph the
underparts on a bird in the hand, none of the posted photos yet shows
the buffy undertail-coverts and lack of yellow soles on the toes that
would have helped clinch the ID right away. Indeed in the hand photos
should also include spread-wing and spread-tail shots as well.
23460 Clarissa Rd
Chestertown, MD 21620
Observing Nature is like unwrapping a big pile of presents every time
you take a walk.
Ernie Buford wrote:
> Oh the agony! But wait, there's more. I managed to round up a few
> more photos. This is the entire lot -- the good, the bad, and the ugly:
> Top vote-getters so far are bay-breasted and blackpoll. What say you
> Thanks for playing!
> Fred and Chris Pratt wrote:
>> Well, you're right - with just these two photos a definitive answer
>> may not be possible. For example, I am uncomfortable pronouncing the
>> back streaked (and therefore a Blackpoll or a Bay-breasted) or
>> unstreaked (and therefore a Pine). Also, is the mantle a dark green
>> as the top photo suggests or almost yellow-greenish as the lower
>> photo suggests? The latter color might push us towards Blackpoll
>> (though leg color isn't as pale or as orange as one would like for
>> Blackpoll). Finally, the lower photo suggests a touch of buff or bay
>> on the flank (barely visible) which of course could close the deal
>> for Bay-breasted.
>> Another interesting thing to note is the eye which seems to have
>> crescents rather than an eyebrow. To me this is suggestive of a Pine
>> If I saw this bird in the field, I am sure it would be readily
>> identifiable. However, if I were still on the Bird Records Committee,
>> I would be seeking to know how other members would respond to the
>> questions I have raised regarding the two photos.
>> I guess I think the back is streaked - and therefore not a Pine - so
>> if a gun were at my head, I would probably go with a bay-breast.
>> But who knows - maybe the poor thing is a Blackpoll! Or maybe that
>> back isn't streaked after all.
>> Ernie Buford wrote:
>>> Here's a Fall quiz bird for you all. I have my own guess plus an
>>> opinion from a member of the bird records committee, but be
>>> forewarned that there may not be a definitive answer. All I have at
>>> the moment are these two photos:
>>> This bird hit a window in Bristol last week and was photographed by
>>> a friend of mine. Which warbler is it, and why? Give it a shot.
>>> Ernie Buford