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I was sitting in my tree stand on Saturday, October 3, 2020 in Potter County Pennsylvania (center northern county), West Branch Township. I was about 16' up in the tree.  Elevation  about 1700 ft.

This is an area of mostly PA northern deciduous hardwood forest although I was next to some old plantations of  mature conifers (Red Pine and  Norway Spruce). There were grass farm fields nearby, about 200 yards away.

A pair of small black birds, just a bit smaller than a black capped chickadee were flitting about in the branches nearby.  They were almost jet black.  Definitely not slate juncos. The had a white shoulder stripe.  I've search for an ID on these guys but the closet I find is the painted redstart which seems too large and I did not see a red breast on them as I had plenty of time to observe them.  I tried to get a photo with my phone but they were just a bit too far.

I have never seen them before; I just figured they were some sort of warbler but that doesn't seem to be the case. Any thoughts on their ID would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you,

Kevin Kring

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/7/2020 at 7:32 AM, RobinHood said:

Black-throated Blue Warbler has a white side patch and in tree cover appears mostly dark.

This was also my closest possibility as well although I had a great look at it and I've seen them in the are in the past. I just couldn't get a photo with my phone unfortunately.

Thank you for your suggestion!

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