Readers’ wildlife photos

November 28, 2021 • 8:00 am

It’s Sunday, and you know what that means: biologist John Avise has a themed collection of bird photos for us. His narration and captions are indented, and you can enlarge the pictures by clicking on them:

Yellow Warbler and other yellow warblers

For common names in birds, upper-case letters conventionally refer to a particular species, whereas a lower-case letter means that the word is being used merely as an adjective.  For example, “Yellow Warbler” refers to a particular species (Dendroica petechia) whereas a “yellow warbler” could refer to any of several warbler species with yellow in their plumages.   Thus, a Yellow Warbler is a yellow warbler but a yellow warbler is not necessarily a Yellow Warbler.  This week’s post shows the Yellow Warbler plus several other yellowish warblers.  All photos were taken in Florida or southern California.

Altogether, about 36 warbler species (family Parulidae) breed in North America (not all have yellow in their plumages).  In my experience, these colorful and hyperactive arboreal sprites are very difficult to photograph.

Yellow Warbler, male (Dendroica petechia):

Yellow Warbler, female:

Wilson’s Warbler, male (Wilsonia pusilla):

Hooded Warbler, male (Wilsonia citrina):

Common Yellowthroat, male (Geothlypis trichas):

Common Yellowthroat, female:

Yellow-throated Warbler (Dendroica dominica):

Pine Warbler (Dendroica pinus):

Prairie Warbler, male (Dendroica discolor):

Prothonotary Warbler, male (Protonotaria citrea):

Hermit Warbler, male (Dendroica occidentalis):

Townsend’s Warbler, male (Dendroica townsendi):

American Redstart, female (Setophaga ruticilla):

Yellow-rumped Warbler, male (Dendroica coronata):

15 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Hoping to finally read in modern Internet form precisely what musical sound a “warble” is, I discovered warble flies and warbles in dogs…

    Not the warble I was looking for …

    1. OK, I looked in a good ol’ fashioned dictionary and its simply a trill (or any of >10 synonyms)….

      Sometimes there is too much information.

      1. I’m not familiar with American warblers but there are quite number of warbler species in Europe in several different genera and collectively they make quite a variety of different sounds!

          1. Yes, I appreciate that Lou. I was making the point that ‘warbler’ doesn’t give a particularly good notion of the kind of noise they make, at least in a European context.

  2. Thanks for the nice photos! I noticed before that almost all have yellow in their color scheme. Is there any possible survival advantage to this commonality? Thanks

    1. Any survival advantage?– Not that I know of. But males are often brighter yellow than females, so perhaps sexual selection is involved.

  3. Beautiful photos of jittery birds.

    I am so glad to see someone sticking up for the common-sense convention of capitalizing English common names. I have to fight with editors about that every single time I use that convention (and I often lose). They want to use all small letters, which is ambiguous, as you mentioned. Why to they want to throw away information? It is one of those crazy senseless trends that get started by some clueless non-biologist and then takes over the field. It is now perceived as “modern”. ARGHHHH!!!

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