Monday, December 25, 2000

Blackpoll Warbler at the Canopy Tower

Raúl Arias forwarded this report by Allen Chartier:

While birding from the top of The Canopy Tower, a small bird appeared in the top of a small Cecropia tree below eye level about 30-40 feet away. The bird was viewed in Zeiss 10 x 42 binoculars. I recognized it immediately as a Blackpoll Warbler as it had the characteristic bill shape of a North American Wood Warbler. The head was olive-green with a distinct dull whitish line over the eye, and a whitish throat. The back was olive-green with 4-5 distinct, bold streaks. As the bird moved, I was able to see that it had two white wing bars, and white tails spots (seen only from above when the bird briefly flicked its tail). There were narrow, but distinct streaks on the sides of the breast and flanks. I called the bird out so that others could see it (Nancy my wife, and 3 other birders from California who were only slightly familiar with the species). I also checked the rear flanks and under tail coverts to be sure they weren’t buffy or yellow (as in Bay-breasted Warbler). The rear flanks and under tail coverts were clean and white as viewed from the side. I never saw the bird from below. I noted nothing unusual about the color of this bird’s legs. They appeared dark. The pale legs of this species described in field guides is often difficult or impossible to see on many fall birds because this coloration is often restricted to the soles of the feet only.

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