[Ontbirds] Hooded Warbler – Barrie

Chris Evans chrisgevans55 at gmail.com
Thu May 19 23:19:48 EDT 2011

Dear Ontbirders,

I got a good 15 second look at this bird, but no photos. I was arriving at
work (late, don't tell anybody) at approximately 10AM this morning,
Thursday, May 19th, 2011 and as I walked around my car and put my old
Swarovski EL 8.5x42s around my neck, I glanced up to see a bird perched in
the top of spruce tree where I had heard and then seen a White-crowned
Sparrow singing earlier this week. When I raised my bins and had a look, I
did not recognize the bird so I quickly made the following careful

- Warbler size, shape and beak

- all yellow underparts except for a dark gray throat (which is what I
“recognized” as unfamiliar in the context of the rest of the features)

- Olive green above

- dark eye with no eye-ring

- no wingbars

- yellow face

- it sat fairly still only moving slightly to give me a better view so that
while I observed it I could see most of its head except the left side, neck,
right wing (folded), right back and right to most of left undersides, except
its tail and its left side. It was aligned toward me at about 45 degrees
with the tail back and to the left, head forward to my right. It looked
toward me to the point I could see its entire dark gray throat in contrast
with the yellow breast and right face, but I could not really see the left
side of its face.

- it was calm, though alert, and silent

- it appeared to be simply resting

The visibility was excellent with the background of a darkish gray cloud and
bright light as it was cloudy with the sun breaking through in many places.
16C ESE 10 km/h wind. I was 30 m NE of the 10 m tall spruce the bird was
perched atop and could see the bird clearly except for its tail and left
side. My camera was ready on the passenger seat of the car (I had just
observed my first male Golden-winged Warbler of the season that had flown
off just as I got the camera ready along Pinegrove Road) from where I had
just picked up my binoculars, so I decided I had all the key features
memorized and needed a voucher photo. When I lowered my binoculars to reach
for the camera, the bird flew off to the north out of sight in typical
unusual bird fashion. I immediately went in to the office and consulted my
copies of:

Warblers, Jon Dunn/Kimball Garrett

Warblers of Ontario, Chris G. Earley

The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North American, David Allen

I quickly identified this bird as a female Hooded Warbler *Wilsonia
citrina*and then ruled out the possibilities of
Golden-winged/Blue-winged hybrids
and other *Wilsonia, Dendroica* and *Oporornis* species with which it might
possibly be confused, since clearly a Hooded Warbler is not expected to be
found at this location.

 I could not see the bird’s tail and so did not observe the usual
characteristic tail raising and fanning described in the literature and when
the bird flew off, I did not observe it in binoculars and did not observe
any white tail against the lighter gray clouds in the background as it flew.
i.e. it may have shown white in the tail, but I did not observe this
feature. Its flight was not very distinctive, but as I recall it had fairly
quick, even wingbeats and varied its course as though finding its way.

 I went for a walk in the afternoon exploring the area to the north towards
where it had flown and observed Chipping Sparrows, American Goldfinches,
Brown-headed Cowbirds, European Starlings, Eastern Bluebird, Field Sparrows,
Song Sparrows, Common Yellowthroats, Yellow Warblers, Golden-winged Warblers
(pair), Eastern-tailed Blue butterflies mating, Nashville Warbler,
White-tailed Deer, Bank Swallows, Grasshopper Sparrows, Clay-colored Sparrow
singing odd song (probably hybrid with Grasshopper or Chipping Sparrow) and
an Eastern Towhee, but no sign of the Hooded Warbler.

I don't imagine I'll see this bird again here as it is likely an overshoot
or was possibly headed into the Minesing Wetlands.

 The location was

Hydro One – Essa Transformer Station

2182 Sunnidale Road

Springwater Township ON L0M 1T2

 GPS UTM 17T 594622mE 4911926mN

or Latitude 44.354441, Longitude -79.812700

You never know what you'll see when you look!

Chris Evans – Midhurst

The Dragonhunter's Apprentice

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