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Species, Date, Time and Location Information
Duration (total time in view):
Bonny Reservoir, Foster Campground
good; both bright direct sun and bright shade with bird at about eye level
Description of the Bird
About an hour after sunrise, I was pishing at some low bushes. Several towhees and many sparrows had popped up. Among that collection, the appearance of a bright yellow bird startled me. Realizing that this was an unusually bright Orange-crowned Warbler, I snapped my camera up and began taking photos. After 30 seconds or so, the bird dropped down, I put down my camera, and resumed pishing. The bird reappeared much closer, at about 15-20 feet, in bright shade, where I was able to study it through Swarovski EL 10x42 bins for about 1 minute.
Size and shape essentially same as “normal” Colorado Orange-crowned Warblers. Entire bird looked bright yellow-green, more olive below, more yellow below. The upper parts were fairly evenly colored. The folded wings were similarly colored to the back and lacked wing-bars. The underparts were brightest (clearest yellow) on throat and undertail coverts. The flanks had more green mixed in and vague olive streaking was present on chest, mostly on the sides of the chest. The face showed a dusky eyeline, mostly limited to lores; a hint of eyeline was visible behind eye. The supercilium was bright yellow, mostly anterior to eye and fading out rapidly behind eye. A bright yellow broken eyering was also evident. The auriculars were olive yellow, not clear yellow like the throat. Bill and leg color not noted.
Behaviors: see description
Call: not heard
Similar Species Discussion
This bird was typical for fall Lutescent OCWA as seen in western Washington. This bird differed greatly from the vast majority of “gray” Orange-crowneds that I’ve seen in Colorado (and when I lived in Illinois). Though some OCWAs during fall in CO have quite bright underparts, orestera (and celata) seem to always show some gray on head, particularly on the auriculars. Also, a bright yellow eyering on a fall OCWA seems to be pretty indicative of lutescens (ignoring the Channel Island race).
Of note, OCWAs, from October through January in Baja’s Cape District, fall pretty well into two groups: green and gray types. By March, I have far more trouble separating the two (or rather, a fair number of birds seem to fall in between), and I think Orange-crowneds in fall are more easily ascribable to subspecies than spring birds.
Extensive; an area of particular interest, causing much frustration at times.
Notes made AFTER observation
Date Documentation Submitted
10/26/2011 7:01:00 AM
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