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syncrasy

classic warbler/vireo stumper (n. Illinois, May)

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Thanks, all. My initial quick impressions were a warbler-sized bird, a thinner bill, a more distinct eyeline, and a slight yellow wash on the breast (i.e., female Tennessee) but the poor lighting and angle can't help confirm any of these impressions. Everything in the photo is consistent with Warbling Vireo.

Edited by syncrasy

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but this looks like a drab Philadelphia Vireo to me. The concentration of yellow seems to be on the throat and breast.

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38 minutes ago, Jefferson Shank said:

It has white lores = Warbling

I don't think we can completely see the lores at this angle. They might be dark but the white head feathers are covering them up.

Edited by akandula
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49 minutes ago, akandula said:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this looks like a drab Philadelphia Vireo to me. The concentration of yellow seems to be on the throat and breast.

I agree. I thought that when I saw the image, but since the consensus was Warbling, I didn't way in. The dark cap and overall color seems better for Philadelphia Vireo.

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Just to recap...

Is female Tennessee Warbler completely ruled out? (Should the inner undertail rectrices of a breeding Tennessee be partially white as implied by Bird Nuts?)

Is the bill definitively a vireo's bill (even with the low angle)?

If the faint yellow wash on the throat/breast is just an artifact of poor lighting ("yellow" shadow is a common illusion) but the darkness of the lores and crown are not made clear by the photo, does that mean that the "Philly vs Warbling" question must be unresolved? My impression in the field was a bird smaller/daintier than a Warbling Vireo (e.g., closer in size and behavior to Philly V or Tennessee W), but judging size is never easy. Also, I don't recall having an impression of a blank face (Warbling V); the markings above appeared to have more contrast.

Edited by syncrasy

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Tennessee Warbler is completely ruled out by proportions (larger eye and head) and tail pattern.  The more I look at the second photo, the more I think Philly is correct.  Good call @akandula!

Edited by The Bird Nuts

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15 minutes ago, The Bird Nuts said:

Could be a Philly... So Warbling Vireos NEVER have yellow on the throat?

Warblings sometimes have a very faint yellow wash on the throat, but the yellow shouldn't be concentrated there. Warblings have most of their yellow, if any, on their flanks.

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Just now, akandula said:

Warblings sometimes have a very faint yellow wash on the throat, but the yellow shouldn't be concentrated there. Warblings have most of their yellow, if any, on their flanks.

Okay, yeah, there is definitely more yellow on the breast as well.

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Speaking of yellow... 

In the general photo discussion forum, I just posted my favorite example of deceptive yellow coloring in a vireo photo:

 

Edited by syncrasy
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5 hours ago, akandula said:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this looks like a drab Philadelphia Vireo to me. The concentration of yellow seems to be on the throat and breast.

Great catch. I agree with Philly.

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