Posted by: atowhee | May 20, 2010

Let’s Play “My Favorite Warbler”

Certainly the Prothonotary causes a catch in your breath whenever that vivid gray and golden pattern meets your eyes.  Our own Pacific Coastal Townsend’s is a stunner when the black and yellow face turns your direction.  The Painted Redstart of the Southwest is glam.  The Canada Warbler can be accused of being common, but every time you see it, the pattern rises above commonality.  The Blackburnian seems to glow with an inner fire, burning to be seen in the treetops.  Here in the West, the Hermit also shines its sunny face in the highest Ponderosa or fir. The Chat has the BIG VOICE and big audio playlist to go with his bigger body.  But maybe, just maybe, this skulking westerner is my personal favorite.

I took this picture this afternoon on upper Ashland Creek where I found at least two different males on territory.   Tough widely distributed across the western third of North America, this warbler is pretty particular about his habitat.  Dark, ferny canyons.  Dense underbrush, and a soft voice.  Not the clear warble of the smaller, but insistent Wilson’s Warbler.  The Mac’s little whisper is easy to miss.


The Wilson’s was at Ashland Pond.  So was this drab little number:

Location:     Ashland Pond
Observation date:     5/21/10
Number of species:     32

Canada Goose     6
Mallard     2
Green Heron     1
Turkey Vulture     2
Red-tailed Hawk     1
Rock Pigeon     4
Vaux’s Swift     2
Acorn Woodpecker     4
Downy Woodpecker     1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)     1
Western Wood-Pewee     2
Pacific-slope Flycatcher     1
Black Phoebe     1
Western Scrub-Jay     3
American Crow     4
Common Raven     1
Tree Swallow     35
Northern Rough-winged Swallow     1
Cliff Swallow     1
Barn Swallow     2
Black-capped Chickadee     3
American Robin     4
European Starling     2
Wilson’s Warbler     1
Yellow-breasted Chat     2
Spotted Towhee     6
Song Sparrow     5
Black-headed Grosbeak     7
Red-winged Blackbird     10
Bullock’s Oriole     3
Lesser Goldfinch     1
American Goldfinch     4


  1. […] ATowee wrote in his blog the other day Prothonotary Warblers, like this little guy, are breath-taking little birds. […]

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