Unusual [edit: MOURNING] warbler at Double Springs
31 Aug 2017, 11:01 AM,
#1
Unusual [edit: MOURNING] warbler at Double Springs
I found this juvenile warbler this morning at Double Springs, near Mormon Lake. It was just below the small metal bridge over the little stream near the trailhead parking lot (walk in toward the campground, and then angle left toward the stream).

This warbler immediately caught my eye among Wilson's and Macgillivray's. Notable features include the pink legs (rules out Nashville), thin partial eyering, extensive gray hood, and nearly uniform yellow underneath from the chin all the way to the tail. The overall pattern of the hood and fully yellow underneath rule out Common Yellowthroat I believe. This leaves juvenile MacGillivrays and Mourning Warbler as the possible contenders. Obviously, MacGillivray's is MUCH more likely here, but every young MacGillivray's I've seen has stronger eye arcs and white to gray throat and chin, so...

I've posted this widely on the interwebs to try to get a good ID:

   

   

Confusing yellow blob in the background of this shot is a Wilson's Warbler:
   

Jason
Flagstaff, AZ
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31 Aug 2017, 11:35 AM,
#2
RE: Unusual warbler at Double Springs
You hit the high points well on why this is a Mourning Warbler, fantastic find!

David Vander Pluym
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31 Aug 2017, 5:52 PM,
#3
RE: Unusual [edit: likely MOURNING] warbler at Double Springs
John Coons and I searched diligently from 1230h to 1430h this afternoon, Thursday 31 August 2017, and had 5 seconds of not-real good views of the bird.
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1 Sep 2017, 6:40 AM,
#4
RE: Unusual [edit: likely MOURNING] warbler at Double Springs
Here's a quick summary of various commentary collected on the internet about this bird. The consensus is that this is a Mourning Warbler. Other than the fact that it's in Arizona there is nothing about this bird inconsistent with a first-fall juvenile.

The most common comment is "Why not a Nashville?". In the field I honestly didn't even think much about Nashville - the bird's behavior and skulkiness were all wrong and the bird just didn't seem the right shape. Looking at the pictures, though, the similarity to Nashville is striking...I had no idea the two species could be confused! Features that distinguish this bird from Nashville are kind of subtle:
-Pink legs, whereas Nashville should be gray
-Bill pinkish and thick, Nashville would be gray and thinner
-Underparts uniformly yellow, even near the legs, this would be at the extreme-end of Nashville brightness
-extent of hood on the sides of the neck is more than Nashville
-Eyering thin and broken, whereas Nashville should be thicker and complete
-Dork loral line, whereas Nashville has light lores

If accepted this is a new bird for Coconino County, and only my second life look at the species.

I know I've said this before, but Mormon Lake is really having an unbelievable year!

Jason
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1 Sep 2017, 10:57 AM,
#5
RE: Unusual [edit: MOURNING] warbler at Double Springs
As of 10:00 am today, 1 Sept, the handful of people looking for the Mourning Warbler had no success.  The Northern Waterthrush was still present and there seemed to have been some turnover in migrants.
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