Magnolia Warbler in Big Pine

Observers: Tom & Jo Heindel
Email: tjheindelataoldotcom
Remote Name:
Date: 09/30/2003
Time: 02:46:39 PM


On 30 Sep at noon we had a Magnolia Warbler in our cottonwood tree. It was in immaculately new fall plumage and the distinctive tail, distal half black & basal half white, was the last thing we saw. The yellow below ended at the lower belly and it was snow white from there to the undertail coverts. There was a pale gray wash across the upper breast. The sides and flanks were strongly streaked black. The head was gray with a thin but bold white eye ring and the chin and throat were yellow. The back was surprisingly green with some indistinct black spots and the rump was a greenish yellow. The tail and wings were black with white edges to the tertials and median and greater secondaries forming two nice wing bars. Fall plumages can make deciding age difficult. It was not an immature female because of the distinctive flank/side streaking and mottling on the green back. The lack of any wear on the feathers suggests that it was an adult, freshly molted, bird. Birds hatched 3-4 months ago should show some wear and none was seen. Guess we'll just have to call it a fall plumaged Magnolia Warbler!