[Tweeters] Mystery Warbler and question for Collin

Jesse Ellis calocitta8 at gmail.com
Tue May 19 14:21:27 PDT 2009


While American Redstart is of course a
possibility as a parent of this individual, I
want to point out that (obviously?) this plumage
combination (if it were a 2nd year full-blooded
American Redstart) is not commonly encountered,
even where Redstarts are very common. Looking for
"2nd year American Redstart" on google images
produces a few interesting photos, including this




Searches for "1st year male" produced this:


Interesting is that these individuals show the
initial black starting at the EYES. Another point
is that 1st-year male American Redstarts often
have a pronounced orange cast to their spots. The
hybrid in the photos has TONS of yellow (way too
much yellow, even for a female redstart). And the
black streaks on the sides are not to be found in
any plumage of redstart. I think the BILL is also
a bit too long for an American Redstart. The
undertail pattern is also a bit off for American

In short, I think it's easy to eliminate this as
a full-blooded American Redstart. It's a lot
harder to figure out the actual parentage given
the oddities of genetics. I'll spend some time
with the warbler guide tonight. I'm still
thinking Oporornis by that bill shape. I'm not
even fully convinced that it's got Redstart in it.

Finally, a question for Collin- in one of the
photos, the bird has its mouth open... was it at
all singing? Please say yes.

Yours from Redstartland,
Jesse Ellis

At 1:54 PM -0700 5/19/09, Larry Schwitters wrote:

>Ah yes, we should observe behavior as well as

>plumage and structure. Redstarts are famous for

>tail flicking. Was this observed with the Queen

>Ann bird?


>Larry Schwitters




>On May 19, 2009, at 8:48 AM, Scott Atkinson wrote:




>>I too studied the photos (what a great set by

>>the way) and I vote for 2nd-year male Am.

>>Redstart. I note the bird seems to be in the

>>open of ornamental oak (Quercus) branches,

>>which (not to mention various plumage details)

>>seems more Am Redstart-like than a skulking



>>Seems we have had no less than 3 Am. Redstarts

>>regionally by mid-May (May 2, Tahuyeh Mason Co;

>>an eastside bird (Charlie Wright et al,

>>Tumwater Canyon? May 12; and now the Queen Anne

>>bird). They all seem early--the County Line

>>ponds' birds in Skagit Co usually show only

>>after June 1, and various westside vagrants

>>seem typical for last week May and through

>>June. Do other observers recall past Am.

>>Redstart encounters in the first half of May?


>>Scott Atkinson

>>Lake Stevens

>>mail to: <mailto:scottratkinson at hotmail.com>scottratkinson at hotmail.com



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Jesse Ellis, Ph. D.
Madison, WI

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