Return Of the Common Yellowthroat ‘NOT’

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I had thought the warblers below to be a female Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) having returned to Flower Hill Farm. Indeed I was wrong in identifying this nimble (Vermivora ruficapilla) that was busy gleaning the Crabapple orchard of tiny insects from within a profusion of blossoms.

Nashville in Crabapple exhibiting gray head with olive green back – a Common Yellowthroat is more olive brown on both head and back.

Life is simple for now, but soon this small songbird will mate and help to raise a family. The female may use a few porcupine quills in her nest and she will find a good supply of them under a beloved apple tree . . . before the blueberry field . . . that . . . alas! . . . the porcupines are particularly fond of gnawing.

Upside down Nashville Warbler eyeing me

Upside down Nashville Warbler exhibiting a white belly . . . so I thought but actually the white is further down from the belly.

This passerine darts quickly about the branches . . . at times reminding me of a trapeze artist.

Nashville Warbler peeking out of Crabapple blossoms with distinct ‘eyering’ aglow.

Unless I have made the same mistake previously, this will be my first ever capture of a Nashville Warbler here at Flower Hill Farm. I offer below some other photos of what I believe to be a female or immature Common Yellowthroat. The two can be confusing and since I was so familiar with the Common Yellowthroat and expected to see her again, I too quickly assigned a misnomer.

Immature or female Common Yellowthroat checking me out in July 2011

The head of this warbler is not gray . . . there is no distinct eyering . . . and the color of the head and back is more olive brown. There is a tiny bit of a black line beginning from the bill just under the eye, however. The Common Yellowthroat is a larger bird than that of the Nashville Warbler.

A Common Yellowthroat showing off its bright yellow throat and breast ~ July 2011

The male Common Yellowthroat . . . in July of 2011 . . . is easy to identify by his black mask and bright yellow throat.

Male Common Yellowthroat peeking out from last years hydrangea

I think I did hear a Nashville Warbler today along with the calls and songs of a Common Yellowthroat. Hopefully I will not be fooled again. Many thanks to ‘Chlorophonia’ for the proper identification of the Nashville Warbler.

flowerhillfarm.blogspot.com

Carol Duke

Carol Duke

Carol Duke is an artist and farmer who has worked with the land on a Western Massachusetts hillside for over thirty years. During this time her land has evolved into a diverse wildlife habitat. Carol features the flora and fauna that live and visit her farm on her blog http://flowerhillfarm.blogspot.com/ As vital wildlife habitats are destroyed daily, Carol hopes to inspire others to garden for wildlife, while becoming activists for wild places the world over. Her nature photography has appeared in magazines, books and newspapers.

Carol Duke

Carol Duke

Carol Duke is an artist and farmer who has worked with the land on a Western Massachusetts hillside for over thirty years. During this time her land has evolved into a diverse wildlife habitat. Carol features the flora and fauna that live and visit her farm on her website and blog http://caroldukeflowers.com As vital wildlife habitats are destroyed daily, Carol hopes to inspire others to garden for wildlife, while becoming activists for wild places the world over. Her nature photography has appeared in magazines, books and newspapers.

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Carol Duke
Carol Duke

Chlorophonia you are absolutely correct! Thank you again for now . . . after lengthy study . . . I do not think I can make this misidentification again. I am thrilled to have a Nashville Warbler! 

Carol Duke
Carol Duke

Thank you Chlorophonia!! I think you may be right . . . birding can be so confusing sometimes and since I have had so many Common Yellowthroats nesting here over the years, this little passerine may have fooled me. I will be very excited if it is truly a Nashville Warbler (admittedly it looks very much like one), as I have never captured that warbler here. Or have I?? I am looking through files and comparing photos on bird sites and in my books. The belly should be white if it is a yellowthroat and the tail is perhaps a… Read more »

chlorophonia
chlorophonia

The “female yellowthroat” is actually a Nashville Warbler. Nice photos!