Monday, January 12, 2009

Undertail coverts

In the excellent Field Guide to Warblers of North America (1997), Jon Dunn and Kimball Garrett note when describing the spring adult male goldencheek that “a few show short black streaks on the undertail coverts” (1).

Today at the Granada field site, we had such a bird.

It was an adult male, and I’m guessing this particular plumage detail only applies to adult males.

This is a detail from Plate 31 of that same field guide. Here, Golden-cheeked is depicted with fairly small streaks on the undertail coverts, especially when compared to Black-and-white Warbler or even Townsend’s Warbler.

This is the underside of another Golden-cheeked Warbler, also an adult male. It’s the bird we saw last Thursday in La Granada. This particular individual only has one much smaller streak on the undertail coverts.

A beautiful bird is Blue-hooded (or Elegant) Euphonia. This adult male and a female were perched in a shrub, where they assumed they had sufficient cover, for they let me approach quite close and never flew out of there.

(1) Jon Dunn & Kimball Garrett (1997) A Field Guide to Warblers of North America, Peterson Field Guide Series, Houghton Mifflin, Boston.

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