27 June 2011 – baby starling and a bonus Yellow Warbler

There was a fresh, local starling at the NRC today, proving that at least sometimes these savvy urban birds can hit a window with the best of them.  The little guy was fat, his beak was still full of food, and his parents were nearby.  It’ll be interesting to see how long it lasts before removal as it would be quite a prize for a local scavenger, but it was also right out in the open and probably something that a groundskeeper might remove.

Walking into Ag Hall after checking the NRC, I found the remains of a small bird, obviously a warbler by its size, olive-yellow background color and bright yellow breast feathers.  Unfortunately, it’d been in place since sometime yesterday (I know it wasn’t there Friday) and it had been partially scavenged.  The entire head and tail were missing, as were most of the “insides.”  The legs, wings and some contour feathers of the breast and back were all that remained.  This made identification a challenge.  Here’s what I could discern:

There are no wingbars –  this narrows the field considerably.

There are distinct, rufous streaks on the breast that contrast strongly with the bright yellow background color.

These features confirm a Yellow Warbler.  The only question now is late spring or early fall migrant?

Here’s where Yellow Warblers have been reported this month via eBird:

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