[TN-Bird] Re: Nashville Warbler (???)

  • From: "Richard Knight" <rknight8@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "tn bird" <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2012 13:01:52 -0400

A few days back Ed Schneider posted a photo of a warbler for which he was 
unsure of
the ID.  In an off-list email conversation, he said the the consensus opinion 
was for
female Common Yellowthroat.  There has been no public discussion of the ID, so 
I am 
weighing in.

I believe it is a Nashville Warbler.
My reasoning:
1)  the head is too gray for female Com. Yellowthroat, which should be 
2)  the eye-ring is a little too bold, but head color & eye-ring are right for 
3)  the yellow underneath is too extensive & even-toned for yellowthroat, which 
     be shaded from fairly bright in throat to dull yellow on lower breast.
4)  culmen shape appears to be straight, unlike slightly down-curved for 
The amount of yellow underneath & bill shape are good for Nashville.

While Nashville Warblers in spring migration usually occur higher up in trees 
than the
bird in the photo, which is in blackberry brambles, I often see fall migrant 
in low shrubby stuff including goldenrod & ragweed.  So habitat shouldn't be an 

Photo IDs are sometimes harder than in-life IDs, since there is only one angle 
per photo,
 no vocalizations or behavioral clues, etc.  However, you can stare at the 
photo for as
long as you want & analyze visible details.

Apparently this would be the first summer record of a Nashville Warbler in TN, 
Robinson (1990) lists none & I don't recall any since then.  It could be a very 
spring migrant or, more likely, an early fall migrant (perhaps a failed 
breeder) or
a wandering non-breeder.  Nashvilles do nest as far south as northern West 

Comments welcome.

Rick Knight
Johnson City, TN

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Ed Schneider 
To: tn bird
Sent: 6/23/2012 3:39:54 PM 
Subject: [TN-Bird] Nashville Warbler (???)

Bells Bend Park, Davidson Co.
23 June, 2012

I realize there are no summer records for this bird, and I wouldn't expect 
there to be. I of course thought I was
photographing a female Common Yellowthroat, but the eye ring seemed WAY to 
strong compared to the female
and first year yellowthroats I've seen.

That being said, the bill shape doesn't scream Oreothylpis to me at all, and 
the habitat is of course all wrong for
Nashville even in migration. 

Anyone care to share some thoughts on a bird that threw me for a small loop 
this morning? I imagine COYE can
be extremely variable, and I'm still an advanced novice at best... always nice 
to get a photo of a questionable bird,

Ed Schneider
Davidson Co.

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