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

And the Blackburnian warbler was even more beautiful

And the Blackburnian warbler was even more beautiful

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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