Saturday, September 21, 2013

Wilson’s Warbler

Wilson’s Warblers, like the male I banded last week, are relatively easy to identify. Females are also fairly simple, although they are somewhat similar to a female Hooded Warbler. Female Wilson’s Warblers differ from Hoodeds in that the sides of Wilson’s faces are brighter and show more contrast with the rest of the head and Hooded Warblers show white in the tail, which is absent in the Wilson’s.

Some birders are not aware that many female Wilson’s Warblers sport black crowns. Only females in their first fall and winter lack any black in the crown. When present, the female’s black crown averages smaller than in the male. We banders measure the extent of the black crowns when we catch Wilson’s Warblers. Only birds with crowns longer than 15 mm can be safely sexed as males.

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