I was elated to see the Cape May Warbler this morning, along with Dennis and
Pat and other observers. Its presence here so early in the season, though,
prompts me to ask a few questions.
Is this bird likely a migrant, or an individual that over-wintered? Having
read the species account in the Dunn and Garrett _Warblers_ book, it seems
like March 1st would be an early date even for its regular migration route
through Florida. Given that the location seemed to be a rather unassuming
suburban recreation park (taking up only the space of about six houses), is
it possible that this individual could have escaped detection until very
late in the season?
It also seems, from the species account in the book, that the difference
between fall and spring plumages for this species are not as dramatic as for
many warblers. While the chestnut color was a bit less striking than I
thought it would be (this was a life-sighting for me), the bird's markings
were bold and clear. If the bird is a migrant, would it be in a worn-fall
plumage (in which cases, it wears it quite well!), or spring mating plumage?
I am asking, truly, from ignorance that wishes enlightenment, to open the
double mysteries of warbler migration and California vagrancy within warbler
>From: Dennis Braddy <braddy@...>
>To: Calbirds <email@example.com>
>Subject: [CALBIRDS] Cape May Warbler in Sacramento
>Date: Sun, 02 Mar 2003 12:20:52 -0800
>From 7:30-8:30 this morning a feisty adult male CAPE MAY WARBLER kept the
>sunny side of his favored tree in Sacramento's Larchmont Park free of pests
>like goldfinches, bushtits, and Yellow-rumped Warblers. The warbler remains
>where it was found yesterday by Jeri Langham in the southeast corner of the
>park in a tree (not the birch, the budding non-birch next to it) adjacent
>a second story apartment balcony decorated with colored balls.
>Directions: Take the Watt Avenue exit from Hwy. 50 and go north. Take the
>first right onto La Riviera Drive. Continue several blocks, then turn left
>onto Linda Rio Drive and continue to the park.
>Dennis and Patricia Braddy
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