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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Michigan Breeding Warbler Survey 2015

[Michigan. Summer 2015]

How the mighty have fallen! From a spectacular show in Spring that can only be described as pyrotechnics in plumes, Fall migration brings a parade of drab, chromatically-challenged warblers. 

Ghosts of their past breeding brilliance; these warblers are now draped in bland tones of the inconspicuous and the cryptic -- verily, a shadow of their peak condition in Summer.

But must we let Summer slip so easily out of our birding memory? Shall we not savor, one last time, what Nature has brought to the pinnacle of avian perfection? And so, in celebration of this year's breeding season, we are pleased to review the breeding warbler species sighted in Michigan by this blogger in 2015:
  1. Cerulean Warbler
  2. Blackburnian Warbler
  3. Canada Warbler
  4. Mourning Warbler
  5. Kirtland's Warbler
  6. Black-throated Green Warbler
  7. Black-and-white Warbler
  8. Northern Waterthrush
  9. Pine Warbler
  10. American Redstart
  11. Ovenbird
  12. Hooded Warbler
  13. Common Yellowthroat
  14. Blue-winged Warbler
  15. Chestnut-sided Warbler
  16. Yellow Warbler 
  17. Nashville Warbler
  18. Lawrence's Warbler [hybrid]
  19. Brewster's Warbler [hybrid]
1. We start with the matchless Cerulean Warbler (seen at Port Huron SGA) -- this songbird is the very definition of avian aesthetics in the natural world:

2. Blackburnian Warbler -- Seen in Kalkaska County, this is one of four warblers named after a woman:

3. Canada Warbler; noteworthy as a "flash" breeder, this warbler is the last to arrive at, and the first to depart from, its breeding grounds. Seen here in Kalkaska Co.:

4. Mourning Warbler -- callously named, this warbler brings nothing but joy to those who behold it; seen here in Port Huron SGA:

5. Kirtland's Warbler -- our rarest warbler and a true Michigan specialty (seen near Grayling):

6. Black-throated Green Warbler (seen at Port Huron and Hartwick Pines SP) -- a warbler with an unmistakable song:

7. Black-and-white Warbler (seen in Kalkaska Co.) -- sporting an elegant look:

8.  Northern Waterthrush -- belting out its loud song (seen in Kalkaska)

9. Pine Warbler -- this is a warbler we can enjoy year-round in the US. Seen at Port Huron SGA.

10.  American Redstart -- this beautiful warbler reminded Europeans of the Old World flycatcher family Redstarts; here seen at Lapeer SGA:

11. Ovenbird (seen in Kalkaska), the streaking on the breast and buffy olive colors show why this was formerly classified with the Waterthrushes:

12. Hooded Warbler -- seen at Port Huron SGA; this delightful warbler's Northernmost range barely extends into Michigan:

 13   Common Yellowthroat, seen at Port Huron SGA, a black mask and white forehead contrasts strongly with the bright yellow throat:

14. Blue-winged Warbler -- seen at Port Huron SGA -- this is a warbler whose range is expanding:

15. Chestnut-sided Warbler, seen at Kalkaska, this is one of our most attractive warblers; showing, bold chestnut streaking and a yellow crown:

16. Yellow Warbler, seen at Lake St. Clair Metropark; this is our only warbler with red streaks on its breast:

 17. Nashville Warbler, seen near Grayling, the prominent white eyerings are distinctive:

18. Lawrence's Warbler -- this is a hybrid of Blue-winged x Golden-winged; seen at Port Huron SGA:

19. Brewster's Warbler -- the "other" hybrid of Blue-winged x Golden-winged; seen at Port Huron SGA:

Of all our songbird species, the colorful American Wood Warblers are the "prize" that draw countless birders to our forests every Summer; and, this post, underscores 19 reasons to bird Michigan in the breeding season.

1 comment:

Bob Pelkey said...

A very fine account of your 2015 warbler observations, Hemant.