Threatened Golden-winged warbler joins mixed flock

23 Oct
Male Golden-winged warbler  banded at CATIE, November 2010

Male Golden-winged warbler banded at CATIE, November 2010

Cornell University advises this week that the Golden-winged warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) is a species whose numbers have declined by 66% since 1965. Here in Costa Rica this species continues to be monitored, I believe, but I am now unsure of where to report the sightings. Yesterday’s handsome male was the first of this species to arrive this year, though it is never really common. Today, however, I found another male together with a breeding-plumaged female Bay-breasted warbler (Setophaga¬†castanea) at the pine grove next to Villa Spoonky (I kid you not). Blackburnian warblers (Dendroica fusca) were also present.

Today's Bay-breasted warbler looked like this

Today’s Bay-breasted warbler looked like this

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And the Blackburnian warbler was even more beautiful

And the Blackburnian warbler was even more beautiful

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Many thanks to flickr’s creative commons and to Jerry Oldenettel and Melanie Underwood for their lovely photographs.

We are now well into migration season here in San Antonio, and yesterday I was lucky enough to catch a huge flurry of activity in the trees at the entrance gate. I suspected the presence of an owl or a hawk but could find only the gathering of a mixed flock of smaller birds. The following species were all present:

  1. Rufous-tailed hummingbird
  2. Yellow-bellied elaenia
  3. Social flycatcher
  4. Gray-capped flycatcher
  5. Yellow-throated vireo
  6. Tropical gnatcatcher
  7. Plain wren
  8. Clay-colored thrush
  9. Golden-winged warbler
  10. Yellow warbler
  11. Chestnut-sided warbler
  12. Black-and-white warbler
  13. Bananaquit
  14. Summer tanager
  15. Passerini’s tanager
  16. Golden-hooded tanager
  17. Blue-gray tanager
  18. Palm tanager
  19. Rufous-collared sparrow
  20. Grayish saltator
  21. Melodious blackbird
  22. Yellow-throated euphonia

Though all of these are common species here (with perhaps the exception of the Golden-winged warbler), a gathering of 22 species in two or three trees all at the same time is not to be sniffed at.

This morning I found nothing, zero, zilch, nada, at the same location.

 

 

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