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.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

MacGillivray's Warbler

Geothlypis tolmiei 

Stocky, sluggish warbler
Olive upperparts
Yellow underparts
White crescent above and below eye
Full gray hood, covering head, nape and throat
     Dark, charcoal gray hood
     Black area in front of eyes
     Paler gray hood
Immature: (photographed)
     Whitish-gray chin and throat

Listen to its call.

I haven't read anywhere that MacGillivray's Warblers have particularly short tails but this little one sure did. In fact, it was almost non-existent as can be seen in the picture below.  Anyone have any insight on this?

UPDATE:  Since my original post, I have discovered that this hatch year bird was probably going through its preformative molt. Typically during this molt, not all of the feathers are replaced.  However, I read that juveniles sometimes lose their entire tail prematurely and when it regrows it features adult rectrices.

Learn more about the MacGillivray's Warbler

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