Wilson’s Warbler

Hey guys, welcome back! Alexander Wilson, the so-called father of American ornithology. We’ve mentioned him before. He dicsovered (or more accurately was the first to officially describe) quite a number of birds. Many of which were subsequently named after him. He has a plover, a snipe, and a phalarope among others. Today, we talk about his warbler. Funny enough, when he described what would eventually be named the Wilson’s warbler, he called it the “green black capped flycatcher.”

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Wilson’s warbler, Gateway Arch National Park, St. Louis, MO

The Wilson’s warbler is one of the smallest North American warblers, which is saying something for a group of birds that are already pretty small.They are a bright yellow, with a slightly darker almost greenish back, and they have their trademark black cap. I’ve heard birders call their cap a toupee and a yarmulke. In fall, some yon birds only show traces of the cap, which does make fall birds harder to ID, as is usually the case with birds lol. Wilson’s warblers are typically found in thickets low to the ground, and actually nest on the ground itself, although some Pacific coast birds nest near the ground, but not on it.

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Wilson’s warbler, Central Park, NY

The Wilson’s warbler is a migrant throughout the majority of the US, but there are breeding populations in the parts of the Rockies and on the west coast. As birght yellow as the ones I’ve seen are, they are apparently brighter yellow on the west coast. Something I may get to experience in a few weeks when I head out to LA for some birding! Wilson’s warblers are one of the many I’ve seen in all three states I’ve lived in, even though they don’t seem to be quite as plentiful as, say, a yellow-rumped warbler. In fact, each of the three pictures in this post are from those three different states (OH, MO, and NY respectively.) Next up a bird that I maybe didn’t see until many years later. See you next time!

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