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One of our members, Frank Boston, sent me a photo of a dead warbler that hit a window that he could not ID, and I'm not sure what it is either. I received the photos on May 8, 2007.  I posted a query on OKBirds and the responses, through July 10, are included below.


Responses from the OKBirds Listserve


Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 00:24:44 -0500
From: John Kennington <johnkennington@COX.NET>
Subject: Dead Bird ID
To: OKBIRDS@lists.ou.edu
Comments: cc: thebostons2@cox.net

One of our members sent me a photo of a dead warbler that hit a window that he could not ID, and I'm not sure what it is either. If anyone would like to see it and perhaps take a stab at Identifying it, the picture is at:

http://www.tulsaaudubon.org/unknown-bird.htm

Thanks,
John Kennington
Bixby, OK


Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2007 22:38:26 -0700 (PDT)
From: matthew jung <mpjung5125@yahoo.com>
Subject: Dead bird ID
To: johnkennington@COX.NET

Black-throated Blue Warbler - female??  My best guess and a guess it is.  Matt OKC


Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2007 22:47:41 -0700
From: Eric Beck <brdbrn1979@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: Dead Bird ID
To: OKBIRDS@lists.ou.edu

Well, I will take a stab and say that in my opinion it looks like a female painted bunting.
Unfortunately the bill shape is hard to make out on this photo, but, thats my opinion and I'm stickin' to it! Until of course somebody else has a good idea as to what it may be.


Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2007 22:51:27 -0700
From: Eric Beck <brdbrn1979@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: Dead Bird ID
To: OKBIRDS@lists.ou.edu

I'm not real familiar with the ventral coloration of PABU's all together male ore female, does anyone else have an opinion.


Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 05:17:16 -0500
From: polly o'malley <pomalley@BRIGHTOK.NET>
Subject: Re: Dead Bird ID
To: OKBIRDS@lists.ou.edu

John, looks like a painted bunting female to me too... we had one hit a high line wire out back a couple of years ago.... after a minute in the retriever's mouth and two in my hand, she sat on the lowest limb of a cedar for another three of four and then felt up to flying away.  She hit that line hard though....

Polly O'Malley
Lincoln Co


Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 06:42:18 -0500
From: Sebastian Patti <sebastianpatti@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: Dead Bird ID
To: OKBIRDS@lists.ou.edu

how 'bout a Tennessee Warbler??

sebastianpatti@hotmail.com
Sebastian T. Patti
(Lincoln Park)
Chicago, ILLINOIS 60614-3354


Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 06:16:33 -0700
From: d m <kenai2@SBCGLOBAL.NET>
Subject: Re: Dead Bird ID
To: OKBIRDS@lists.ou.edu

I like guessing games also.  I'm thinking the bill is not thick enough for a female painted bunting.  I believe I see a warbler bill with a wet, faint, thin eyebrow and considering the under tail coverts of white with what could be very pale wing bars, my guess is female tennessee warbler.  Thats my guess and like Eric-convince me otherwise. 

Dennis Mullins
Fort Gibson


Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 08:41:37 -0500
From: "Ingold, James" <James.Ingold@LSUS.EDU>
Subject: Re: Dead Bird ID
To: OKBIRDS@lists.ou.edu

Itís for certain not a Painted Bunting, it has a warbler bill.  It looks like a Tennessee Warbler to me.

Jim Ingold
LSU in Shreveport


Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 13:49:40 +0000
From: Jeanette Bider <jbider@SDF.LONESTAR.ORG>
Subject: Re: Dead bird ID
To: OKBIRDS@lists.ou.edu

I'd have to agree with Sebastian.  The beak is definitely a warbler beak not bunting, besides the beak is all black and bunting beaks don't have black lower mandibles.  It's a little mangled but there is a yellow supercillium and definitely white undertail coverts.  I would call the bird a very late female Tennessee Warbler.

Jeanette Bider, PhD             |       Ornith-L Listowner
jbider@sdf.lonestar.org         |          Norman, OK


Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 09:22:04 -0500
From: Doug Wood <dwood@SOSU.EDU>
Subject: Re: Dead Bird ID
To: OKBIRDS@lists.ou.edu

Could be Orange-crowned Warbler as well.  Doug.


Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 07:44:16 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jana Singletary <jssingletary@sbcglobal.net>
Subject: Re: Dead Bird ID
To: john kennington <johnkennington@cox.net>

I don't think it is a Painted Bunting.  It looks like a warbler bill to me instead of a bunting bill.  Also, it appears to have white undertail coverts and white in the wing to indicate a hint of wingbars, which would rule out Painted Bunting.  It's difficult to tell about the eye and face because of the ruffling of the feathers.  Also, you can't see the breast or belly.  Could it possibly be a Pine Warbler or Tennessee (Stokes Field Guide to Warblers, p. 146-147)? As you can tell, I don't really know, but that's my best guess. 

Jana Singletary
Tulsa


Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 08:10:02 -0700
From: JOS GRZYBOWSKI <j_grzybowski@SBCGLOBAL.NET>
Subject: Re: Dead Bird ID
To: OKBIRDS@lists.ou.edu

Hi John,

   When was the picture taken?

    The bird has a pointed bill, green upperparts, no wingbars yellowy throat and superciliary and white under-tail coverts.

CHEERS,                    JOE Grzybowski


Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 08:25:25 -0700
From: Verajean Hatfield <verajean1@SBCGLOBAL.NET>
Subject: Re: Dead Bird ID
To: OKBIRDS@lists.ou.edu

I think Mr. Patti is right on the mark. Even the bill is warbler-like...and all the other marks match up, including the yellowish eyebrow and green back. At least if you are looking at Sibley's description and picture.

Vicki Hatfield in Grove, OK


Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 08:56:05 -0700
From: Eric Beck <brdbrn1979@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: Dead Bird ID
To: OKBIRDS@lists.ou.edu

Dennis,

Taking your warbler id into consideration, I think it is important to look at where a Tennessee Warbler might be at the moment, which would be the far north boreal forest.  Of course not all birds read books as we all know, so I suppose there could be a miniscule chance of one lingering this late.  The date guide has the 25 of May as being the late date for these birds and Sept. 13 as the arrival for the fall. So if you are correct Dennis, its a pretty good record. That said.

I don't see any hint of a faint eyebrow, in fact the coloration surrounding the eye looks consistant with that of its cheeck which is a pale yelllowish-green.  If this was a TEWA (Tennessee Warbler) I don't think there would be a question as to whether or not there was a supercilium of some kind.

I still am very uncomfortable with using the bill as a que, so I am just going to leave that out.  You are right about the white under-tail coverts, which is consistent with the description of TEWA's in birds of north-america, unfortunately I still have not found a good description of a PABU's (Painted Bunting) under-tail coverts, maybe someone else could jump in with that.

I think that is all I have at the moment, anyone else?

Eric


Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 11:02:12 -0500
From: "Kennington, John" <john.kennington@EDS.COM>
Subject: Re: Dead Bird ID
To: OKBIRDS@lists.ou.edu

This has been interesting!

I received the picture on May 8, but don't know the date it was taken. So it is definitely not a June bird. The bird struck a window at a home near 71st and Harvard in south Tulsa.

Thanks,
John


Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 09:05:15 -0700
From: Eric Beck <brdbrn1979@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: Dead Bird ID
To: OKBIRDS@lists.ou.edu

You know, I just assumed that this was a recent picture. If in fact it was from last month I might have to reconsider (maybe).

Eric


Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 09:26:00 -0700
From: Eric Beck <brdbrn1979@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: Dead Bird ID
To: OKBIRDS@lists.ou.edu

Well I will have to say that it sounds like I may have been wrong.  Which would be the first time, ever!!! Okay my wife wouldn't agree with that statement, but this has certainly been an interesting conversation, which has taught me a good bit. Thanks.

Cheers,

Eric


Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 15:54:55 -0400
From: Steve Schafer <steve@fenestra.com>
Subject: Re: Dead Bird ID
To: OKBIRDS@lists.ou.edu

On Fri, 29 Jun 2007 09:22:04 -0500, you wrote:

>Could be Orange-crowned Warbler as well.

An Orange-crowned Warbler would not have pure white undertail coverts.

I have to concur with the others who suggested Tennessee Warbler as the best match, although I also find it odd that a spring bird would have that much yellow on its face.

One of the "wingbar-less" vireos is also a possibility, but I think they are all eliminated by the brightness of the green back--only a Yellow-green Vireo has a back that is that green, and it is eliminated by other features, such as the pure white undertail coverts.

Painted Bunting fails to match on a number of characteristics. The undertail coverts would be dingy greenish, not white, and the tail is much too short. All _Passerina_ buntings have a mandible that is very wide at the base, with sort of a "bulging out at the sides" appearance, and a maxilla that is much narrower and sharply pointed. This bird has mandible and maxilla that are comparable in size. (This characteristic of _Passerina_ bills is generally not apparent in field guide illustrations, but is obvious when you view a bird head-on.)

-Steve


Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 14:57:35 -0500
From: Lawrence Herbert <lherbert@4STATE.COM>
Subject: dead bird ID
To: OKBIRDS@lists.ou.edu

OKbirdsters -

If the photo was taken May 8, I'll guess Tennessee.

If it was taken this week I'll guess Blue-winged!

Good birding,  Larry H.  Joplin MO.


Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 09:43:11 -0700
From: JOS GRZYBOWSKI <j_grzybowski@SBCGLOBAL.NET>
Subject: Re: Dead Bird ID
To: OKBIRDS@lists.ou.edu

 One of the "wingbar-less" vireos is also a possibility, but I think they
are all eliminated by the brightness of the green back--only a
Yellow-green Vireo has a back that is that green, and it is eliminated
by other features, such as the pure white undertail coverts.

 Hey Steve,

    I have always liked bills as characters, because they vary much less than plumage characters, and are more consistent between age and sex classes, and seasons.

    In Vermivora warblers (Tennessee, Nashville, Orange-crowned and others), the upper and lower mandibles [sometimes referred to as maxilla (upper) and mandible (for lower)] match to come to a sharp-pointed tip.  The culmen can curve barely. [This is true in most icterids (orioles, meadowlarks and RWBLs for sure), except that the culmens can be very straight.].

   In Dendroica warblers (like Yellow, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Blackpoll etc.) , the lower mandible is a little shorter than the upper, and there is a slight overlap of upper over lower.  Still a pointy bill, but not coming to a sharp point.

    In vireos, the bills tend to be more bunt, with more obvious arch and overlap of upper over lower mandibles at the tip.  On a closeup, you can often see a "tooth" [serration] just behind the tip of the upper mandible.

CHEERS,                  JOE Grzybowski


Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 20:31:37 -0400
From: Steve Schafer <steve@fenestra.com>
Subject: Re: Dead Bird ID
To: OKBIRDS@lists.ou.edu

On Sat, 30 Jun 2007 09:43:11 -0700, you wrote:

>I have always liked bills as characters, because they vary much less >than plumage characters, and are more consistant between age and sex >classes,and seasons.

I supposed I should have mentioned this....

I was going to point out the bill characteristics, but after searching online for photos of Philadelphia Vireo bills for comparison, I decided that I couldn't make a convincing argument. The image of this bird's bill just isn't good enough; if you try hard enough you can imagine a bit of a hook at the tip, and the relative bluntness is hard to convey without a side-by-side comparison.

-Steve


Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2007 00:07:31 -0500
From: EUGENE YOUNG <EUGENE.YOUNG@NORTH-OK.EDU>
Subject: Re: Dead Bird ID
To: OKBIRDS@lists.ou.edu

I would concur with the Tenn. Warb. id...as indicated, the bill, undertail coverts, upperparts, wings, etc. all look like Tenn, furthermore the short tail is quite distinct in these images, helps distinguish from Orange-crown. It might be a non-breeding female that was hatched last year, I believe first yr females can be quite bright, but also explain the lack of features normally seen on the head (though the condition of the bird doesn't help much). I don't recall when the bird was found...but noticed a mention of spring dates for OK in May (late)...but I believe it's not uncommon for this bird to be somewhat regular in June during certain springs throughout the midwest, assuming one can consider OK/Great Plains as part of midwest, this simply could be a late migrant.

Gene


Date: Wed, 04 Jul 2007 08:15:57 -0700
From: JOS GRZYBOWSKI <j_grzybowski@SBCGLOBAL.NET>
Subject: Re: Dead Bird ID
To: OKBIRDS@lists.ou.edu

Howdy,
Gene raises an interesting point on this Tennessee Warbler being a first year female [a bird hatched the previous summer].

In many songbirds, this can be determined by examining the primary coverts and comparing the edges and tones of these feathers with those of the greater coverts--those covering the bases of the secondaries. Because juveniles go through an incomplete molt into their first winter plumage [i.e., they don't molt all their juvenile feathers], they retain some juvenile feathers that they keep until the following spring and summer, and these tend to be browner and be more worn [have more tattered edges] by the following spring than the ones they did molt.

So primary coverts could be browner, with more worn tan edges, while greater coverts will be darker toned with greeny edges.

In the first picture, the primary coverts appear more like the greater coverts, but in pic 2, where the wing is spread out, one can see a diference in tone, with the primary coverts appearing to have tan edges.
There are other feathers that can be retained from juvenile plumage. Some of the inner tail feathers maybe browner, but it is hard to tell from the picture. The tertials also appear to be browner with tattered tan edges. Not sure the age can be assesed with certainty here, but there are signs that this is a first-year female.

Great to have pics.

CHEERS, JOE Grzybowski
Norman, OK

 

 

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