Documentation of Magnolia Warbler

Observer Information

Reporter:  Walter Szeliga   
Other Observers:  Martha McDermott; I am the original observer of this bird.

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Magnolia Warbler
First Date/Time:  6/3/2007
Last Date/Time: 
Duration (total time in view):  20 minutes
County:  Boulder
Specific Location:  Along Brainard Lake Road just west of Red Rock Lake. GPS coordinates 40 degrees 4 minutes 57.87 seconds N, 105 degrees 32 minutes 36.21 seconds W
Number:  1
Age:  Unknown
Sex:  Male
Plumage:  Other/Unknown


Thickly vegetated, marshy willows with running water.

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  Nikon Action 8 x 40 and Nikon Monarch 8x42
Distance:  About 5 ft at the closest
Light:  The sky was completely overcast, light conditions did not impact the identification of this species.

Description of the Bird

Size larger than a Wilson's Warbler, white supercilium, white lower eye arc with an otherwise black face. Yellow throat, black necklace, yellow belly and flanks with thick black longitudinal stripes. Thick white wing bar and a yellow rump.
Behaviors: Feeding on buds in a willow thicket.
Call: soft call notes
Plumage: Alternate

Similar Species Discussion

The birds prominent yellow rump and dark back eliminated all species of warbler except Yellow-rumped Warbler and alternate plumage male Cape May Warbler. The Myrtle form of the Yellow-rumped Warbler was eliminated due to the presence of a yellow throat. Audubon's form of the Yellow-rumped Warbler was eliminated as a possibility due to the presence of the thick white supercilium, an entirely yellow belly and the thick black longitudinal stripes along the belly and flanks. The lack of rufous on the face and the completely yellow belly and flanks rule out alternate plumage male Cape May Warbler

Resources Used

The Sibley Guide to Birds was used after the sighting to aid in identification.

Previous Experience

This is my life Magnolia Warbler, my co-observer is quite familiar with Magnolia Warbler and lives in it's breeding range. Both of us are quite familiar with the Audubon's form of the Yellow-rumped Warbler.


Notes made AFTER observation

Additional Information

Comments: These photos are poor quality since we were up at Brainard Lake to photograph scenery and flowers and did not bring a zoom lens.
Time: 15:30
Elevation: 10,158
Other Dates:
Nearest Town: Ward
Independent Observers: I am the original observer of this bird.

Materials Available

Photographer: Walter Szeliga

Photos |


Date Documentation Submitted

6/4/2007 12:12:00 AM
Click left or right edges of photos to move through all; click outside image to close