My goal this year is to learn more about the very small birds that come to our wetlands. Some, like the male Painted Bunting above at the preserve’s feeder, are easy – his brilliant multi-colored feathers are so distinctive that he’s hard to miss.
The Ovenbird, the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and the Black & White Warbler were three new, distinctive little birds that I learned to identify last year.
I’m beginning to recognize male and female Common Yellowthroats, but so many warblers have such similar coloring, it is a really daunting task to learn the particular patterns and identifying marks of each one.
According to the Peterson Field Guide to Warblers, there are 60 different Warblers in North America, and many migrate through Florida in the fall and winter. Some of my fellow birders have lots of Warbler expertise and they are great about sharing tips on figuring out who is who.
Identifying a Warbler, even with a Warbler-specific field guide, can be a daunting task. But I just discovered an invaluable new resource, the Warbler ID Guide that you can download for free from All About Birds.Thank you to the developers of this amazing set of materials to accompany their beautiful book and app! By the way, be sure to check out the reviews by some of our blogger friends, including H.J. Ruiz, Avian 101.