Your analysis is good for a young male yellowthroat.  Your comment on 
the bird's behavior is telling. Also the mask on a young yellowthroat is 
less extensive (and less dark usually) than on an adult. 

As for a Kentucky, its back color is very different from a yellowthroat 
and is much closer to that of a Canada Warbler.  Also the yellow 
spectacles on a Kentucky are very conspicuous.  Your description of the 
bird makes no mention of either of these field marks.

You are right to be cautious about the possibility of a Kentucky here in 
Vermont.  There have been only a handful of sightings - just one in the 

You are good to be so careful....


michael thomas wrote:
> I had a strange warbler encounter in my backyard.
> Hopping around in a shrub by my window was a bird that
> looked remarkably like a Kentucky warbler. Is that
> completely unlikely? It certainly had the dark pattern
> of the Kentucky, but my guidebooks suggest that this
> sighting would be very rare. Unfortunately I got only
> a brief glimpse through the binocs. My first
> impression though was that it behaved a lot like a
> Common Yellow Throat, only on my second impression did
> I realize that it lacked the "mask". Consulting Sibley
> I found that the 1st Winter  CYT also look a lot like
> what I saw, but I think the black mark was much darker
> than he shows, and in the general form of the
> Kentucky. Also, my impression was of a much yellower
> bird, especially on the belly, than Sibley shows on
> the CYT. I realize that no definitive ID can be made
> at this point, but I'd be interested in anyone's
> thoughts or comments. Thanks, Michael
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