Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Photo Quiz 3/9/12 Solution

This one wasn't as tough as I thought it would be, as most people got it right.  Still, the wrong answers I got were expected misidentifications, and people I talked to told me it took them some time to figure out.  Let's take a closer look at the image above:
We know this bird is in NJ, so Hooded Warbler and first summer male Orchard Oriole come to mind because of the combination black throat and yellow body.  However, on closer inspection we can see that the tail is relatively short, too short for any oriole, and the undertail coverts and underside of the rectrices are white.  This bird is clearly a warbler, not an oriole.

A short and incomplete study of this bird would undoubtedly lead you to believe that it is an adult male Hooded Warbler.  However there is a lot that just isn't right.  The black seems limited to the throat, and does not extend up the back of the face.  Still, that could be due to over exposure/poor lighting.  I'm pretty sure Hooded Warblers have pink legs, but they don't have white undertail coverts.  This bird just doesn't seem right for Hooded.  After that, we don't have many options.  If you forget about the fact that one of the most common hybrid warblers in North America is Blue-winged x Golden-winged, then you'd easily label this as a Hooded Warbler and move on (unless you saw the whole bird!).  This bird is an adult male Lawrence's backcross Blue-winged x Golden-winged hybrid.  Take another look at this bird below (I know these photos suck!).
Steve "No Good" Howell
Dan Lipp AKA "Curly Dan" AKA "Big Boy" AKA "Tiny Dancer" AKA "Dempsey Arceneaux"
Frenchie "Wine and Drop" Massarrotto
Mark "Mad Dog" Dettling
Ryan "The TBB Delgado" DiGaudio
Conor "The Upland Manpiper" Higgins
Jared Frickin' Feura

~Luke Musher

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