Saturday, January 30, 2010

One for the Bird Lovers

Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Dendroica coronata, Mission River, San Diego, California. These breed way up in Alaska and Canada but Winter in the Western U.S. and down to Guatemala. We're lucky enough to get a lot of the migratory birds spendng their Winters here in San Diego. As you might expect, these are the Winter colors on this little Warbler, having a bit more yellow (on the head and above the tail) in the Spring.

IDing these little guys takes a while. It kind of started off like this --> Brown, is it a Sparrow? Little pointy beak, is it a vireo? No, too small and spots on the chest. Is it a fly catcher? No, body's a little too robust. Bit of yellow...could it be a Warbler? No yellow patch on head/rump (aka, didn't quite match the picture but real close) but has the white halo around the eye; could it be a juvenile? Awk, wrong time of year... Oh, Winter, duh. Dull colors in the Winter and, okay, Yellow-rumped Warbler with Winter colors.

On the photo... I have a lot of trouble getting pictures of these little guys. They tend to not let you get as close as say a duck would. They also tend to hide in the middle of the bush rather than perching where you can snap a picture. Typically, I hear them and see little flashes of brown and that's the end of it. Even if you can see them in the middle of the bush, getting an autofocus camera to focus on the middle of a bush is like pulling teeth! So, while not the flashiest little bird, I was pretty happy to get his picture. Now, if only I could get a picture of a vireo...

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