There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Yellow Warbler

Dendroica petechia

Small songbird
Bright yellow underparts
Yellow-green upperparts
Plain yellow face
Prominent, dark eye
Yellow eye-ring
Thin, pointed bill
Yellow tail spots
Male: (not photographed)
   Reddish-brown breast streaks
   Duller, no breast streaks
Listen to its call.

This is just one of the many birds I saw at Rithet's Bog last weekend. Although its yellow plumage is similar to many female and immature warblers, there are a number of features on this bird that I was able to use for identification. The large, dark eye and yellow in the tail feathers are characteristics unique to Yellow Warblers. However, I'm not sure whether it's a female or a young bird (or perhaps a young female). Although the slate-coloured bill in the photo above is typical of the adult Yellow Warbler, the pale bill in the photo below suggests a young bird.  This is an example of how the wrong light angle can result in problems with identification.

Learn more about the Yellow Warbler.

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