LOUISIANA BIRD RECORDS COMMITTEE

REPORT FORM

     

1. English and Scientific names: Black-throated Gray Warbler (Setophaga nigrescens)

2. Number of individuals, sexes, ages, general plumage (e.g., 2 in alternate plumage):

1 female, age unknown (after juvenile)

3. Locality: Parish: Jefferson Parish

Specific Locality: Sureway Woods, Grand Isle, LA

4. Date(s) when observed: 20 Dec 2012

5. Time(s) of day when observed: 7:30am, 9:30am, 2:00pm

6. Reporting observer and address: Erik I. Johnson, 102 Goodwood Cir., Lafayette, LA 70508

7. Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s): David Muth, Christine Reihl, Rosemary Seidler, Joelle Finley, Chris Brantley, several others

8. Other observers who independently identified the bird(s): Don Norman, Dan Purrington?, perhaps others

9. Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light): In AM, overcast conditions and the bird was actively foraging in the canopy, at about 40 feet. So somewhat backlit. Later in the afternoon, the bird was foraging in turks cap at eye level in bright mid-day sunlight very nice viewing conditions.

10. Optical equipment (type, power, condition): 10 x 42 Swarovski EL. Nikon D100, 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 ED lens.

11. Distance to bird(s): 30-40 ft in AM, 75 ft in PM

12. Duration of observation: about 10 minutes total in AM between two separate observations. About 5 minutes in PM.

13. Habitat: Coastal oak forest broken by residential homes and gardens.

14. Behavior of bird / circumstances of observation (flying, feeding, resting; include and stress habits used in identification; relate events surrounding observation):

Always actively foraging, gleaning along branches and picking at foliage. Moving very quickly and constantly. During first observation in AM, giving husky flat chip notes, and as David Muth noted at the time, reminiscent of Black-throated Green Warbler. Loosely associated with a few birds including YB Sapsucker. Later in AM, heard giving thin high flight call a couple times, but otherwise silently foraging alone. In PM, not heard, but foraging actively in turks cap, often disappearing from view, but providing several good looks in full sun from various angles. Was eventually harassed by Palm Warblers and chased off.

15. Description (include only what was actually seen, not what "should" have been seen; include if possible: total length/relative size compared to other familiar species, body bulk, shape, proportions, bill, eye, leg, and plumage characteristics. Stress features that separate it from similar species):

Female-type with crown same color as back (sooty gray), broad dark stripe of same color through eye into auriculars bordered by white supercilium and throat. Distinctive small pale yellow patch in lores. Two white wing bars and white underneath with indistinct streaking/smudging on flanks. Folded tail from below was mostly white with darker outer corners and darker at the base. 

16. Voice: (from 14: During first observation in AM, giving husky flat chip notes, and as David Muth noted at the time, reminiscent of Black-throated Green Warbler. Loosely associated with a few birds including YB Sapsucker. Later in AM, heard giving thin high flight call a couple times, but otherwise silently foraging alone.)

17. Similar species (include how they were eliminated by your observation): The yellow lores are distinctive. Black-and-white Warbler does not have yellow lores and has different foraging behavior (more nuthatch like). Yellow-throated Warbler with bold yellow throat. Yellow-rumped Warbler lacks yellow lores and not solid dull gray above (more blue-gray in definitive basic males).

18. Photographs or tape recordings obtained? (by whom? attached?): Yes, David Muth said he got some from this day and has some from a previous day. I am including several of mine.

19. Previous experience with this species: Only seen a couple of times out west, many years ago. First observation in LA.

20. Identification aids: (list books, illustrations, other birders, etc. used in identification):

a. at time of observation: none

b. after observation: Sibley Guide to North American Birds.

21. This description is written from: _____ notes made during the observation (_____notes attached?);__X__notes made after the observation (date: 20 Dec 2012, submitted to eBird); _____memory.

22. Are you positive of your identification if not, explain: Yes.

23. Date: 22 Dec 2012 Time: 9:10pm