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Monday, June 9, 2014

Mourning and Hooded Warblers on Territory at Abbotsford Rd

[Port Huron SGA, MI. June 2014]

Two irresistibly charismatic warblers highlight this post: Mourning Warbler and Hooded Warbler. Both warblers are visually striking  and vocally distinctive -- and, both can be found on the Abbotsford Road trail at Port Huron State Game Area when the males are on territory in early Summer.

Mourning Warbler seen at Port Huron SGA

Mourning Warbler's identification characteristics include a steel-grey hood, black bib, yellow undersides and an olive back. It lacks (complete or broken) eye rings -- a fact that helps distinguish it from the otherwise similar MacGillivray's and Connecticut Warbler.

Mourning Warbler seen at Abbotsford Rd

Although locally common in its breeding range, the Mourning Warbler is nonetheless a difficult warbler to observe. It tends to stay low in the underbrush but its song is loud and betrays its presence.

Much more conspicuous at the same venue was this Hooded Warbler:

Hooded Warbler seen at Abbotsford Rd

The Hooded  Warbler looks like a lemon-yellow bird wearing a black balaclava! Like the Mourning Warbler, the legs are pink and the back is olive.

Another thing that the Hooded Warbler has in common with the Mourning is that both species have seen population increases in the US. A bright note of hope among the incessant stream of bad news about bird populations in decline.

Other species seen were Scarlet Tanager, and Blue-winged and Chestnut-sided Warblers:

Scarlet Tanager seen at Abbotsford Rd

Blue-winged Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Just where the Blue-winged Warbler was sighted, a Black-and-White was also observed singing. Unfortunately, it didn't stick around long enough to permit a photo opportunity.

However, given the wealth of other breeding species that were successfully photo-documented, what would otherwise have been cause for regret, barely registered in disappointment.

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