English and Scientific names:

Townsend's Warbler (Dendroica townsendi)

Number of individuals: 

1-probable immature male


Plaquemines Parish

Specific Locality:

Big woods just downriver from Ft. Jackson 

Date(s) when observed:

December 29, 2009 and January 10, 2010

Time(s) of day when observed:  

10:15-10:45 on Dec. 29; 8:30-9:00 on Jan. 10

Reporting observer and address:

Phillip Wallace
New Orleans, LA

Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):

Glen Oussett and Mike Hilferty on Dec. 29; David Muth on Jan. 10 Glen reported as we went into the woods on Dec. 29 that he thought he had seen a Townsend's there in early December.

Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)

Justin and Devin Bosler saw and photographed the bird on Dec. 29. 

Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):

Good light; clear skies but in mature woods.

Optical equipment: 

Eagle 10x40 binoculars

Distance to bird(s): 

10-25 meters on Dec. 29; 4-8 meters on Jan. 10

Duration of observation:

3 minutes on Dec. 29; 10 minutes on Jan. 10


Predominately mature Live Oaks.

Behavior of bird: 

Feeding high in oaks on Dec. 29; feeding in ferns near ground level on Jan. 10 (very cold; freezing)


Warbler of the virens complex with bright yellow breast and face and pale yellow on upper flanks. Dark auricular patch on face, tapered toward the rear with yellow crescent below the eye. Dark streaking on the flanks. No yellow in vent area; no dark specks in undertail coverts (hence, not adult male). Two white wingbars on dark wings. Mantle olive and head darker olive; mantle was unstreaked.


May have vocalized; I heard a chip note on Dec. 29 I didn't recognize.

Similar species:

Absence of yellow in vent area eliminates other members of the virens complex; dark auricular patch and extensive yellow in breast eliminate other members of the virens complex.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Stills from video accompany this report; video submitted to LBRC. Video by Oussett and photos by Hilfery. Photos by Boslers.

Previous experience with this species: 

I've seen twice before in Louisiana and several times out west.

Identification aids:

Dunn and Garrett's Warblers for age and sex.

This description is written from: 

Notes made December 30, video by Wallace and photos by Boslers.

Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 



Date and time: 

March 7, 2010; 5:30 a.m.