Sunday, August 09, 2009

Hermit Warbler!!

On Thurs Aug 6 (the morning after preparing the last post) a new species for the Lucky Peak nets arrived on this massive storm that came in from the NW - an immature female Hermit Warbler!

Here's a side view of an apparent immature female Hermit Warbler - photo by Heidi Ware

The concern is the potential for hybridization with the closely-related Townsend's Warbler but, though I've sent it to some experienced birders for their input, I think it looks like a 'pure' Hermit.

Hermit Warbler, though its breeding range is relatively close (principally the coastal ranges of CA, OR, and southwestern WA), is decidedly rare in Idaho with only 2 prior accepted records of the species. But, there were 2 sight reports in early May of this year, both in SW Idaho, pending review. One of the accepted records was a sight record by 7 of us up at Lucky Peak on Aug 14, 2002 - also an immature female. At the time, I was pretty excited to see that one (and glad it didn't get caught since it was my first in Idaho ;-) but it was pretty cool to catch this one and get to check her out close-up.

The underside of the bird ... (by Heidi Ware)

Another side view

The bird was in very good condition (big fat and big muscle) and, if it didn't leave due to the rain last night, will likely keep moving at the first opportunity.



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