Hello all warbler-loving birders. Early this spring rumors circulated
that there were changes coming in IDing the "winged-warblers",
especially regarding their hybrids and "pure" birds. Steven Lamonde and
I decided to dig into the science of that group, and figure out what
birders ought to know about telling a "pure species" bird from a hybrid.
Fortunately it turns out that the clues are all in the plumage. We
already knew that songs were not trustworthy ID tools. Moreover, don't
expect any changes to be showing up in our cherished field guides and
apps; they are doing their jobs. After our digging into the literature,
we were able to put to rest the rumors, and clarify a few significant
concepts and plumage characteristics. This is a story about multiple
field-observed features in combinations. You can find out what we
discovered and clarified at this Audubon Vermont link:
At the webpage that opens you will find some example photos. In two
different locations there is a link to all the information we found
useful, including criteria for deciding "pure" or "hybrid" when looking
at a bird, and for submitting to eBird. The criteria are given in a
table on page 6 of this article. Additional photos will be added to the
article around the end of this month.
Please let us know what questions you have!
[log in to unmask] [log in to unmask]