Saturday, March 24, 2007

Warblers and Doves

This morning I was out for about 3 hours birding the neighborhood. There was lots of activity on Stillforest. Most winter species are still around and new northbound migrants are appearing. All the birds are starting to sing too, so many birds I recorded this morning I only heard. The highlight of the morning was finding 3 Black-throated Green Warblers. Two were singing males in bright breeding plumage. All together I saw 5 species of warblers this morning, including Yellow-rumped, Black-and-white, Orange-crowned, and a single Nashville. On the floodplain property I found a Swamp Sparrow which is unusual for the neighborhood.

Near where the two creeks meet at the end of Meadowheath I took the above picture of two doves. The one on the left is a Mourning Dove. See how it's slightly smaller overall and has a slender pointed tail. The one on the right is a White-winged Dove. It's a larger and slightly bulkier bird and has a wider tail which is squared off at the end. These differences in body shapes and tails are a great way to distinguish these two species of doves at a distance. White-winged is much more common in our neighborhood, but I'm starting to see more Mourning Doves around now that spring has begun. See if you can spot examples of both! For more information about our neighborhood doves (including more ways to tell them apart) see my NASWC article here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, I never realized the Mourning Doves have a pointed tail while the White-winged Doves have a wider more squared off tail. Thanks!