Mourning Warbler — first fall example with ID comments

Today, 15 August 2016, Richard Waters and I birded Britannia Conservation Area — a real migrant hotspot along the Ottawa River in the spring and fall. Our highlights included a Mourning Warbler and a Canada Warbler. Before I arrived, Richard took these photos of a nice example of a first year fall Mourning Warbler (his first bird of the day!). The ID features are subtle but telltale. The whitish eye ring is narrow and split at the front but full at the rear, ‘interrupted’ by a subtle dark ‘slash’; the area above the eye and bill (supraloral) is blushed with pale yellow. The pale yellow throat is enclosed by an faint swath of light brownish tones, forming an indistinct convex ‘hood’. The entire underside of the body from the upper chest through to the undertail is yellowish; the upperparts, barring the head, are olive-brown. Overall, the build is of a large, sturdy, long-legged and short-tailed (with long undertail coverts) warbler with a large bill — one which is a real skulker of the undergrowth and prize find on any birding outing 🙂

Mourning Warbler1 BCA 2016

Photo: Richard Waters.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Richard Waters for lending the use of his excellent capture and thanks also to Richard for taking me down some superb side trails this morning! Birding gold…and we’ve only just begun :).