Friday, December 26, 2008

Another lowland warbler!

Yesterday I wrote about the Magnolia Warbler that I never expected to see in Huitepec Reserve, because the elevation here is just too high. Well, today I saw another bird with a similar elevational distribution: Worm-eating Warbler. (And yes, that bird pictured above is a Crescent-chested Warbler, fairly common here.)

Cornell’s BNA account for Worm-eating Warbler gives a winter range between sea level and 1,500 m on both Atlantic and Pacific slopes of Central America. But again, Huitepec is at more than 2,300 masl!

Clearly, there must be something here that’s attractive to these lowland and foothills species. Perhaps these birds made migration stopovers here and, well, decided they liked it!

We didn’t get to study a flock today. Walking though the forest, we encountered small pockets of insectivorous birds everywhere, but somehow I never got the impression of a flock. Maybe the forest here is too dense for flocks to be readily apparent, maybe every one of those little pockets in reality was a flock. It didn’t bother me too much. For me, today’s field work was all about reconnaissance. Just for fun, I ticked off all the Wilson’s Warblers I saw or heard between 7:15 AM and 1 PM. Got to 21 Wilson’s Warblers. Other common warblers in this forest include Golden-browed and Rufous-capped, Crescent-chested, and Townsend’s Warblers. MacGillivray’s Warblers also appear to be fairly numerous here.

But Golden-cheeked Warblers… not so much.

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