Another Rare Warbler - Blackburnian
Category: Birding at the Chico

While trying to relocate the Whip-poor-will (see tomorrow's post), Brian Gibbons found and photographed a very drab 1st year female Blackburnian Warbler near the Moons' ranch house.  The bird was foraging in mature cottonwoods, gleaning insects from the leaves and moving about quite a bit.

The word Blackburnian was given to this species by Johan Gmelin for an 18th Century English botanist, Anna Blackburne.  The male Blackburnian is one of the most striking of all the wood warblers with brilliant orange about its head, as evidenced by some of its nicknames, fire-brand and torch bird.  

Blackburnian Warbler is one of the spruce budworm specialists and their populations fluctuate as the destructive budworm populations fluctuate.  On the Chico it is a very rare migrant species with very few records.

Posted by Bill M. on 09/07/2008
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