31 December, 2009

Palm Warbler

Scientific Name: Dendroica palmarum

Population Estimate: 20M, Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Breeds in bogs in throughout Canada. Winters in the southeast US coast, Caribbean Islands and coastal parts of eastern Mexico, Belize and eastern Central American, where it is almost always found on or underneath palm trees.

Field Notes: Small songbird bright yellow undertail and distinctive habit of wagging tail constantly. Underparts white with yellow on chest and under tail, back brown, no wing bars. In breeding plumage, bright rufous cap, yellow supercilium, and rufous streaks on breast. In basic plumage, dull yellow supercilium remains and there may be faint streaks left on the breast. Yellow Warbler is the only other New World warbler with rufous streaks on chest, but has a plain head. Likewise, Prairie Warbler wags tail constantly but has olive cap and black streaking on chest.

Personal Notes: Our most common visitor in the palms outside our beach-front casitas in Tulum and Ambergris Caye. We have also seen this bird in breeding plumage in late spring in Cancun, Mexico and in migration in Minnesota.

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