Documentation of Black-throated Blue Warbler

Observer Information

Reporter:  Keith Clum   
Other Observers:  my friend Holly was there with me at the time, but she did not see the bird and is not very adept at bird identification anyway.; Yes

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Black-throated Blue Warbler
First Date/Time:  10/18/2011
Last Date/Time: 
Duration (total time in view):  15-20 seconds
County:  Arapahoe
Specific Location:  Highline canal trail at the intersection of Yale avenue and I-25
Number:  1
Age:  Unknown
Sex:  Male
Plumage:  Other/Unknown


lower branches of an Ash tree

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  none
Distance:  approx. 6 ft
Light:  It was late morning. it was bright and sunny and still cool outside and I was facing south which would put the sun angle from my left. I had a perfectly clear and unobstructed view of the bird and the light was what i considered to be about as perfect as possible.

Description of the Bird

Roughly 5 inches in length, with a small pointed beak, a blue head, nape, shoulders, back and tail. bright white areas on wings at wrist and also at the base of he primaries. Black face and throat and white chest and belly with solid black streak down sides to flank. Definitely a male. Possibly had some fading of colors due to time of year, but colors appeared very rich and distinctive regardless.

Seen Tuesday, October 18th at approximately 10:00 am
Behaviors: The bird was sitting in a branch approximately 6 feet from me and flew off within a few seconds.
Call: did not hear
Plumage: Mature plumage

Similar Species Discussion

At first my memory flashed to a Cerulean Warbler due to the color of blue but it was darker blue.I remembered almost immediately the lack of black on the Cerulean and especially the throat. This bird had a black throat and face. I have seen many other blue birds in Colorado such as Lazuli buntings, various species of jays, and thrushes. the size of the bird, along with the beak size and shape alone were definitely those of a warbler.

Resources Used

double checked Sibley Guide the night of Oct. 18th

Previous Experience

I am an accomplished wildlife artist who specializes in bird sculpture. I have carved over 10 species of warblers alone.



Additional Information

Time: approximately 10:00 am to 10:30 am
Elevation: 5300 ft ?
Other Dates:
Nearest Town: Denver
Independent Observers: Yes

Materials Available

No files uploaded.

Date Documentation Submitted

10/23/2011 7:29:00 PM