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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Delightful Dozen including Blackburnian, Tennessee, Wilson's, Cape May, and Golden-winged Warblers

[Magee Marsh, OH. May 17th, 2014]

While the Biggest Week in American Birding is over, the birding isn't. Migration will continue through the end of May and a quick half-day trip to this famed venue yielded a dozen warbler species (photographed; with 3 more sighted).

Temperatures were low, in the mid 40's but warmed up to the mid 50's under overcast conditions with the occasional drizzle. The plus side of this was that the birds kept low (looked cold and rotund) and lighting was pleasantly diffused (thereby avoiding the yellow-cast resulting from sunlight filtering through the green leaves).

Species observed:
  1. Blackburnian
  2. Blackpoll
  3. Black-throated Blue
  4. Black-and-white
  5. Cape May
  6. Chestnut-sided
  7. Canada Warbler
  8. Golden-winged
  9. Magnolia
  10. Prothonotary
  11. Tennessee
  12. Wilson's
Of this list, the Prothonotary is a breeder at Magee and hence is to be expected until their migration back South in the Fall; however, given that this is mid-May, there was a nice mix of early warblers (Black-and-white, Blackbrunian, Tennessee), mid-migration warblers (Black-throated Blue, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Cape May) and late warblers (Canada, Wilson's, Blackpoll) as well.


A favorite among birders and non-birders alike, the distinct facial markings and the sunset glow of the face and throat make the Blackburnian an unforgettable species.


With a black cap and "whiskers", white cheeks and streaked flanks, the Blackpoll is unmistakeable with its orange legs.

Black-throated Blue:

With so few warblers hued in blue, the Black-throated Blue offers respite from a garish proliferation of yellows and greens.


A nice find, this female Black-and-white was the only one observed on this day.

Cape May:




With the prior observation of the female Golden-winged resulted in pitiful photographs, I was hoping for a "redo" and this time it didn't disappoint.




Usually seen much higher up in the canopy, this Tennessee was foraging just a couple of feet off the ground. While a fairly drab warbler, it is still distinctive in its green and grey hues.


A scruffy looking male gave excellent views close to the boardwalk.

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