Friday, August 24, 2012

Northern Illinois Summer Warblers: Common Yellowthroat

A male Common yellowthroat showing itself briefly in Deer Run Forest Preserve, Cherry Valley, IL: 7/1/2012.
Of the 46 Wood-Warblers listed in The Sibley Field Guide to Birds in Eastern North America,  less than half of these will call northern Illinois their summer home. The 19 listed in Sibley's are:

Summer Warblers in N. IL: Common Yellowthroat* (Above), Yellow-breasted Chat*, American Redstart*, Louisiana Waterthrush*, Ovenbird*, Northern Parula*, and those with "warbler" ending its names: Blue-winged, Yellow*, Chestnut-sided, Cerulean*, Pine*, Prairie, Yellow-throated*, Black & White*, Prothonotary*, Kentucky, Worm-eating*, Mourning, and Hooded*. Obviously birds do not read the field guides to tell them where they should be in certain times of the year, so boundaries and territories are flexible. Warblers that I have seen in the summer in the Rockford area which are not listed in Sibley's as summer residents are: Tennessee, Nashville, and Black-throated Green.  Of this list, I have seen 14 of them (marked above with an *), however, not all of them marked with the * have I seen in the Northern Illinois area. It just means I have seen them in other states (i.e. the Worm-eating and Hooded Warblers I saw in the Smoky Mt. Nat Park, but have yet to see them in Illinois). The 5 Warblers that have avoided my camera's viewfinder are the Blue-winged, Chestnut-sided, Prairie, Kentucky, and Mourning Warblers.

A female Common Yellowthroat, Deer Run FP; 7/1/2012.
One of the more common and visible warblers in our area is the Common Yellowthroat (Above). They are actually very common throughout the U.S. and Canada, in weedy, brushy and marshy habitats. Their sing-song sound is unmistakable which is often described as "wichety, wichety, wichety," coming from out of the long weeds. They like to hang low in the brush but will pop up and show themselves often enough.
Another male Common Yellowthroat, Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL; 5/20/2012.
(Above) another shot of a male Common Yellowthroat from earlier this past spring.

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