Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Male Hooded Warbler Photos from today's Banding

Posted by Kirk

Today at work our bird banding crew pulled this gorgeous male Hooded Warbler from the nets. It's very rare to see a Hooded Warbler on site and even rarer to band one. The reason has to do with their breeding range. Take a look at this map from the USGS made using Breeding bird Survey data. The nearest breeding population they show is in Illinois and Michigan.

Still, these birds are seen in Minnesota. Looking at eBird data from Cornell it is easy to see there have been four sightings in the last 30 days and this is taking into account that not that many birders in Minnesota even submit their sightings to eBird. They are known to nest in Murphy Hanrehan park.

This was a male and I've heard him or maybe a buddy singing on site this spring. The real question is, is anyone listening. These males can come sing all they want but if there aren't any females listening there isn't going to be any breeding going on.

I like the photo below because you can see two really cool things. You can see the band we've attached to the bird's leg as well as the cool whiskers this bird has around the mouth. I usually associate these whiskers on birds with the flycatchers. Whiskers such as these help direct insects into the bird's mouth while they are chasing after them. Very cool.