BIRDS OF NEW ENGLAND AND EASTERN NEW YORK - HOFFMANN

Previous Page - Table of Contents - Next Page

TENNESSEE WARBLER. Helminthophila peregrina [Leiothlypis peregrina]
5.00 in.

Ad. ♂.— Top of head ash-gray; rest of upper parts olivegreen; under parts white. Ad. ♀.— Similar, but top of head tinged with greenish; under parts washed with yellowish.

The Tennessee Warbler is a migrant through New York and New England, in May and September; it is usually very rare, though sometimes common in the autumn in the lower Hudson Valley. On migration it frequents apple orchards and tall woodland trees, but in northern New England, where it breeds sparingly, it frequents larch swamps and occasionally spruce growth. On account of its lack of bright colors it is the least likely of the rare warblers to come under the notice of any but an expert field ornithologist. Its song is a series of sharp sits, like a Black-poll's, but with a decided change to a higher pitch in the middle and a fall at the close. But for the sharp slender bill and the smaller size the bird might pass for a Red-eyed Vireo, until its song betrayed it.


NASHVILLE WARBLER. Helminthophila rubricapilla [Leiothlypis ruficapilla]
4.77 in.

Ad.— Top of head ashy, with a chestnut crown-patch somewhat hidden; rest of upper parts brown, tinged with greenish in strong light; under parts bright yellow; ring around eye white or yellowish-white. Im.— Similar, but head like back; under parts not so bright.

Nest, on the ground. Eggs, white, speckled with reddish-brown, chiefly at the larger end.

The Nashville Warbler is a common summer resident of portions of New York and New England. It is rare or absent in the neighborhood of New York city, except as a migrant, but breeds from Highland Falls northward. In Connecticut it is generally distributed, but is not common in the southern part of the State. In the upland of central and northern New England it is common. It arrives early in May, and leaves in September. It frequents land which is partially overgrown with small trees and bushes, and as it is one of the most active of an active family, it often leads a student a very long chase before he gets a glimpse of its ashy head and yellow under parts. Its song, however, is very characteristic. It begins like a Black and White Warbler's, or a Redstart's, and ends with two or three quick phrases that run down the scale, wee-tse wee-tse wee-tse, chiddle chiddie chiddle. Occasionally the ending is omitted, leaving a puzzling beginning which is hard to tell from a Redstart's song.

The chestnut crown-patch of the Nashville is often difficult to make out, but no other warbler has bright yellow unstreaked under parts and an ashy head. The white eyering, too, is diagnostic, if one can get a view of it. The Connecticut Warbler, which occurs only in the fall, also has a whitish eye-ring, but its throat is not yellow.


GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER. Helminthophila chrysoptera [Vermivora chrysoptera]
5.10 in.

Ad. ♂.— Crown yellow; upper parts ashy-gray; wings and tail bluish-gray; patch on wing yellow; throat and stripe through eye black, separated by a white stripe. Ad. ♀.— Black of male replaced by gray.

Nest, on ground. Eggs, white, speckled with brown, chiefly about the larger end.

The Golden-winged Warbler is a rather rare and local summer resident of southern New England and eastern New York. No other New England bird has such a restricted range. It is rare in the Hudson Valley, has been found in New Hampshire only in the Lower Merrimac Valley, and not at all in the interior of Massachusetts, unless in the Connecticut Valley near Springfield. It is not rare in eastern Massachusetts, but is uncommon in Rhode Island and southern Connecticut. It arrives in May, and leaves in August. It frequents dry woodland, particularly near open bush-grown pastures. Its song, though like that of the Black-Throated Green Warbler in its wheezy quality, differs decidedly in form..

[graphic]

Golden-winged Warbler



BLUE-WINGED WARBLER. Helminthophila pinus [Vermivora cyanoptera]
4.80 in.

Ad. ♂.— Crown bright yellow; back and rump bright olivegreen in strong light; a narrow black line through the eye; wings and tail bluish-gray; wing-bars white or yellowish-white; outer tail-feathers showing white when spread; under parts bright yellow. Ad. ♀.— Similar, but yellow of head restricted to the forehead; under parts duller.

Nest, on the ground. Eggs, white, thinly speckled with reddish-brown.

Blue-winged Warbler

Blue-winged Warbler

The Blue-Winged Warbler does not occur north of southern Connecticut and the Lower Hudson Valley, but in most of this region it is fairly common. It arrives early in May and leaves early in September. It is found in dry bushy fields, on the edges of woodland, and sometimes even in swampy growth. It is not so active as many of the warblers, and gleans its food leisurely among the branches of trees. Its song is characteristic; the syllables zwee-churr, both notes drawled, represent the ordinary song. It occasionally utters a longer, more complicated series of notes. From the Yellow Warbler it may readily be distinguished by its gray wings and by the black line from the bill through the eye.

WORM-EATING WARBLER. Helmitheros vermivorus [Helmitheros vermivorum]
5.51 in.

Ad.— Head with four black lines, two through the eyes, and two on the top of the head, separated by buffy lines; back olive green in strong light; throat buffy; breast and belly whitish.

Nest, on ground, always with the heads of a common moss, Polytrichum, in the lining. Eggs, white, spotted with reddish-brown.

The Worm-eating Warbler is a regular, but not very common, summer resident of the lower Hudson Valley, is locally common in northern New Jersey, and occurs locally in southern Connecticut. It arrives in May and leaves in August. It is a bird either of dry wooded banks, or of swampy thickets, where it feeds either on the ground or in the trees, gleaning among the twigs, or flying up to a bunch of dried leaves to pick off an insect. Its song is almost exactly like that of a Chipping Sparrow; in fact, if one hears in dry woodland in the region above defined what seems to be a Chipping Sparrow singing perhaps a bit faster than the average, the song should be followed to its source, and the singer scrutinized. The clearly defined contrasting colors of its head give it a trim appearance, and make it easy to identify.

[graphic]

Worm-eating Warbler

BLACK AND WHITE WARBLER. Mniotilta varia
5.30 in.

Ad. ♂.— Streaked everywhere, except on the throat and belly, with black and white; a broad streak of white through the middle of the black crown. Ad. ♀.— Upper parts streaked with brownishblack and white; under parts white, with obscure streakings on the sides; bill slender, slightly curved.

Nest, on the ground; generally in a depression. Eggs, white with brown spots on the larger end.

The Black and White Warbler, or Black and White Creeper, as it was formerly called, is a common summer resident of most of New York and New England, becoming less common in the northern portion of the region and infrequent in the deep northern forests. It arrives in the latter part of April, and leaves in September. It is found in woodland, particularly where trees and bushes grow near open spaces. Here the bird may be seen following each large limb to its extremity, peering now over one side, now over the other, searching for the insects even on the under side.

[graphic]
Black and White Warbler

When singing, the male sits on a twig, his long bill open, uttering again and again the thin, wiry notes which constitute his song, wee-see', wee-see', wee-see', wee-see'. In the height of the breeding season there is often an intermediate portion of the song in a lower key. Both birds utter a chattering note when excited, but I have never heard the great variety of notes which has been attributed to this species. After a period of silence in early August, the song may occasionally be heard again.

The Black and White Warbler may possibly be confused with the Black-Poll Warbler in spring, or with the Downy Woodpecker. From the former, its manner of feeding and the broad white stripe through its crown should distinguish it; from the latter it may be distinguished by its smaller size, slender bill, and by the absence of a broad white stripe down the back. In strong light the contrast of the lustrous black and the white gives the male almost a bluish look.

[SWAINSON'S WARBLER]. Lymnothlypis swainsonii

Not in the original book. Very rare in the area of interest of the book as they live in southern US but I happened to see one on Long Island in the Spring of 2023. First record in Suffolk County ever.

[YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER]. Setophaga dominica

Not included in the original book. This species is not common in the area as its territory is south of New York but there are few individuals that make it to Long Island.


Previous Page - Table of Contents - Next Page