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Fall Blackburnian Warbler? Northwestern SC - 17 Oct 21


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The SC Botanical Garden is a mix of formal gardens and natural pine / deciduous forest.  The bird was flitting between the lowest branches of large deciduous trees, roughly 7 to 10 feet off the ground.

I see a black triangular facial patch; yellow supercilium, throat, and upper breast; fading to a white belly and undertail; black back with two white wingbars; black upper tail with underside white flanked by black; black streaks on the upper sides; black legs.

I just don't know if it's too yellow, if the expected orange has faded that much, if the color is off because the bird was in the shade, or all of the above.  I've only seen one before and it was in better light.  Still, I can't find a better match.

Thanks.

image.png.4a03ba3a7d7f62ae1664e4e5f9b5cbce.png

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Definitely a Blackburnian for all the reasons you listed. Judging by how dark the facial markings and streaking on the flanks are, I would think it's a male (someone please correct me if I'm wrong though!). I believe their orange does fade noticeably by autumn, so the colour adds up fine.

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6 minutes ago, Seanbirds said:

Great bird and nice photo as well!

Thanks!  There have been a few reports from that part of the state in the last couple of weeks, but mostly only one at a time and / or reported by people birding together.  It's only my second, and a photo lifer.  I had a nice House Wren too.

I'll withhold judgement of the 'niceness' until I see what the photos look like when they aren't so closely cropped.  Most of them were taken with the bird in the shade and are underexposed like this one.  Of course, when I adjusted the exposure to compensate, the bird moved into the sunlight; boy, are those overexposed!  And a lot of them are avian porn (bird butts).

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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