Orange-crowned Warbler

October 20, 2013  •  7 Comments

We went to Black Butte Ranch this past weekend, and while cleaning gutters and burning pine needles we've accumulated over the past two years was the primary purpose of our visit; birding and admiring the scenery competed equally for our attention when we had spare time. 

Below is the image we captured as we looked across Phalarope Lake toward Mt. Washington. At the moment it was obvious that we would not be counting flocks of wintering waterfowl competing for patches of open water on this visit.

On our first brief outing to search for birds we came across two warblers.  Given the stream-side location and time of year we initially thought latent Common Yellowthroat, but after a few additional brief looks, we concluded ORANGE-CROWNED and MacGillivary's WARBLER. Once back at home with the benefit of pictures we were able to determine Orange-crowned Warbler as we suspected for the first bird, but the second one was not so easy for us to identify. 

Two images of the first bird, an Orange-crowned Warbler:

Orange-crowned WarblerOrange-crowned Warbler

Now for the test of our ID SKILLS - please record you answer before scrolling to the bottom of second image:


We believe the bird pictured above is a 1st year Orange-crowned Warbler - which would be a first for us.

Comments and criticisms welcomed, encouraged, pleaded for actually :-)


Beyond the subjects pictured above, we do not have much extraordinary to show for our visit beyond clean gutters and an absence of pine needles. Nonetheless, we'd like to share a few of the other images we enjoyed on this visit with you, as well. 

The not-so-easy to locate (female) WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER:

The ubiquitous RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (5 frames):

And finally - three species sharing a watering hole (not all are obvious in appearance):


Comments

jack williamson
Bob, thank you for following up - leg color on Macs has never come up before. If Pam Johnston had not pointed out the yellow feet on the Ruby-crowned Kinglet to us we'd still be clueless.
Bob Archer(non-registered)
I was looking at subspecies of Orange-crowned Warbler last night and these pics again, I noticed an error in my comments, Macs have paler legs (pink) not darker legs..forgot which I was describing! Sorry.
jack williamson
Thanks to everyone for the very helpful comments. I've learned a lot about Orange-crowned Warblers from this exchange - and to not attempt photo enhancement late into the evening; hopefully the less-juiced color saturation levels will yield a better result on everyone's monitors.
Dave Irons(non-registered)
The first four photos are all Orange-crowned Warblers. The bird in first two images (presumed to be one bird) looks to be a "lutescens," the local breeding subspecies. The gray-headed bird in the bottom two images is either a "celata" (boreal form that nests across n. Canada and Alaska) or "orestera" (the Rocky Mountain breeding form), but I suspect the former. To date, there is not really any good information on how to sort out hatch-year celata and orestera in the field. It does look like that color saturation on these two photos is a little bit juiced, to the point of making the bird in the third photo blue-headed on my monitor. As Bob Archer points out, the best way to tell a gray-headed Orange-crowned from female or dull immature MacGillivray's is to look at the bill shape and color. Orange-crowneds have all dark bill that come to a very fine point, while Macs have thicker more blunt-tipped bills that are somewhat fleshy in color. During fall migration it's pretty common to see Orange-crowneds with grayish heads, particularly as you move farther east of the Cascades, where most of the migrants are likely originating from more northerly or interior populations.
Bob Archer(non-registered)
I see Chuck posted at the same moment I did, I'll give my reasons for my answer... orestera can be the very grayest headed of the Orange-crowned....seems females lead the way.. Macs would have a bulkier bi-colored bill, with darker thicker legs. The fine straking on the breast and hint of dark eye-line and faint eye arcs are good for orestera. Just my thoughts..
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