Sunday, May 19, 2019

Yellow Warbler fanning her tail at Kit Carson Park

I was hoping for an overnight arrival of migrant warblers, vireos, flycatchers, tanagers, orioles, buntings... when I visited Kit Carson Park earlier this month. Not so much. The morning was gloomy; migrant activity subdued. Lots of Yellow Warblers about, though. Many probably arrived a few weeks ago and are breeding, rather than migrating through to more northern climes, though many will do that, too.

At first look, one could think a female Yellow Warbler is an Orange-crowned or female Wilson's Warbler. Indeed, that black eye and plain face matches female Wilson's, though female Wilson's often show a darker green crown mimicking the black cap of the male.

Yellow Warbler

When the Yellow Warbler flies, or fans its tail as seen below, the very pale inner webs of the tail feathers give the impression of big white tail spots--a contrast lacking on the tails of Wilson's and Orange-crowned Warblers.

Yellow Warbler
Yellow Warbler fanning tail showing the white interior webs. May 3, 2019. Escondido, California.

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