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I live in the Chicago area. Yesterday I saw a small bird that looked a bit like a Nashville warbler, except it had one white wing bar. It had a bright yellow belly, gray head and back, and white eye rings. It was a little smaller than a sparrow. I believe it was probably migrating, as I have never seen one of these birds before. 

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Is it possible it was molting? For example, I found this cardinal photo in which the down and new feather shafts appear like a wing bar. 

cardinal-1.jpg

Edited by Melierax

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No, I don't think it was molting. Its feathers looked smooth, and I was close enough to it to be able to see that the wing bar was made up of feathers, rather than feather shafts. 

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23 hours ago, Alice Miller said:

No, I don't think it was molting. Its feathers looked smooth, and I was close enough to it to be able to see that the wing bar was made up of feathers, rather than feather shafts. 

Hmm.... maybe Cassin's or Blue-headed Vireo?

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I guess it's possible, but neither of those look exactly like what I saw. Both of those vireos have some white on their underbellies, and the bird I saw had a completely yellow chest and stomach. Those vireos also both have little stripes going from their eyes to their beaks, and it didn't look like the bird I saw had any sort of eye stripe. 

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Maybe! It could have been a juvenile. The pictures I found online of juvenile orange-crowned warblers do look a little like what I saw. I looked at Peterson field guide but not Sibleys.

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The bird I saw looks a lot like the second picture in the link. I guess I'll never know for sure, but so far this seems like it's the most likely ID. Thanks for your help!

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