a committee of the New York State Ornithological Association
of New York Rarities
Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler
by Willie D'Anna and Photographs by Betsy Potter
Goat Island is justifiably famous as it sits at the
brink of Niagara Falls. Birders also know it for the gulls that
amass by the thousands nearby during late fall and winter. Local
birders also realize the importance of the site as a migrant trap
- one of the very best in Western NY. Betsy Potter and I were searching
for early neotropical migrants at Goat Island when we encountered
great numbers of "Myrtle" Yellow-rumped Warblers (Dendroica
coronata ). Betsy spotted a Yellow-rumped with a bright yellow
throat and for the next 40 minutes I studied it in the scope while
Betsy tried to obtain video. The bird stayed high up in a couple
of large deciduous trees permitting prolonged, if distant study.
Several characters collectively distinguish this
individual as belonging to the Audubon's race: 1) the bright yellow
throat with rounded corners; 2) the plain grayish face with white
eye-arcs but no white above the lores and no large black facial
patch; 3) a large white patch on the wing coverts, indicative of
a male; 4) white on four outer tail feathers and larger black tail
corners. Intergrades of the Audubon's and Myrtle races of Yellow-rumped
occur but this individual showed no intermediate characters that
would suggest such a possibility. There are less than 20 records
of this race in the State (Lauro 1998).
Warbler (Dendroica coronata auduboni), April
Goat Island, Niagara Falls, Niagara County, NY
Video grabs copyright of Betsy Potterę 2002
References for YRWA:
Lauro, T. 1998 in Bull's Birds of New York State. E. Levine,
editor. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, N.Y.
Dunn, J. and K. Garrett 1997. Warblers. Houghton Mifflin
Company. Boston, New York.