Palm Warblers

Yesterday I had a winter-plumaged Warbler respond to my “pishing”. He flew right up to me and sat in a small tree affording me some great looks at his plumage. I noticed a stripe above the eye and faint streaking on the breast, overall the bird was a dull brownish color.

Then I noticed he was constantly bobbing his tail, and I remembered the Palm Warbler has this habit. There was a small flock of the birds and I noticed when one would fly up, you could see white on the outside edges of the tail. That’s another field mark for Palm Warblers.

Palm Warblers are one of the Warblers that changes into a winter plumage. In the spring they have a rusty cap and bright yellow breast, like the picture below.

Palm Warbler in breeding plumage

They bob their tails and call their buzzy trill during the spring, but in the fall all you will hear are soft little chip notes. They nest in Spruce bogs and most Palm Warblers migrate to Canada, but a few do nest here in northern Minnesota. Palm Warlbers are one of the first Warblers to come north in the spring.

PHOTO  of an immature Palm Warbler in the fall.

When identifying “fall” Warblers you sometimes have to use several clues to i.d. the bird. Little things like tail bobbing and white on the outer edges of the tail are much more important when looking at “basic” plummaged bird.

Now I believe the Palm Warbler is named appropriately. I have found this Warbler at Cozumel Mexico on the seashore in a Palm tree! So you may be familiar with this plain looking Warbler in your travels to warmer climates. They do winter in the southern US and points south as per this RANGE MAP

 

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