Jump to content
Whatbird Community

Recommended Posts

I took this today (same bird/2 pics).  When I pulled up images of yellow-rumped warbler, it also discussed the myrtle warbler.  So I was hoping someone could explain this to me.  Am I understanding correctly that there are multiple kinds of yrw, and this one is the myrtle variety?  Sorry if this is a silly question--I'm just trying to learn.  thanks1798756335_myrtletile.JPG.b9edba7e99a788605bc9b320eeb1e6f4.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, Jodi Nielson said:

I took this today (same bird/2 pics).  When I pulled up images of yellow-rumped warbler, it also discussed the myrtle warbler.  So I was hoping someone could explain this to me.  Am I understanding correctly that there are multiple kinds of yrw, and this one is the myrtle variety?  Sorry if this is a silly question--I'm just trying to learn.  thanks1798756335_myrtletile.JPG.b9edba7e99a788605bc9b320eeb1e6f4.JPG

There are 2 races - Myrtle, with a white throat and more patterned face (which is what you have here) and Audubon's with the yellow throat and a somewhat plainer face.

This is the most common warbler I see out west. They are doing something right!

Edited by VRVan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Jodi Nielson said:

I took this today (same bird/2 pics).  When I pulled up images of yellow-rumped warbler, it also discussed the myrtle warbler.  So I was hoping someone could explain this to me.  Am I understanding correctly that there are multiple kinds of yrw, and this one is the myrtle variety?  Sorry if this is a silly question--I'm just trying to learn.  thanks

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Yellow-rumped_Warbler/id

it's not a silly question at all.  Indeed, it's a very important one.  Many species of birds (and other life) have two or more sub-species.  Some of the ones discussed here most often include Red-tailed Hawks and Dark-eyed Juncos. 

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Red-tailed_Hawk/id

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Dark-eyed_Junco/id

The professional ornithology organizations regularly review new scientific evidence and sometimes decide sub-species are different enough from each others to merit being 'split' into separate species.  The Spotted Towhee and Eastern Towhee were once considered subs of the Rufous-sided Towhee, but were split into separate species and the 'Rufous-sided' name is no longer used.  (Some of us still aren't over it.)

Other times, they decide evidence shows two or more species don't differ enough scientifically to be considered separate any longer.  The former species are 'lumped' into a new species and are treated as subs of it.  Indeed, it's not unheard of for the same species to have been split into subs, and later to have some or all of the subs lumped again as new scientific evidence emerges.

All of this is part of taxonomy, the process of naming species.  Here's a summary of the 2019 changes implemented by eBird, along with an overview of bird taxonomy.  

https://ebird.org/science/the-ebird-taxonomy

These reclassifications are one reason why it's a good idea to replace a field guide periodically.  The older it is, the more likely it will show species have split or merged (along with incorrect range maps, outdated illustrations, etc.)  As to how you choose to report or list what you see, it's better to list the subspecies IF YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY SURE.  Otherwise, an accurate report of the species is always better than an inaccurate subspecies report. 

"The more you know..." 🌈

Edited by Charlie Spencer
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you VRVan and Charlie for helping this old dog learn some new tricks.  😊  I've always loved watching birds and considered myself generally knowledgeable...until last year when I found this site.  lol.   I'm still working on my photography skills which I currently rate as "picture taker."  Last year, with the help of all you wonderful people at Whatbird , I was able to id nearly 70 different birds just taking walks on my street.  I live in the county and am surrounded by a combination of Woods and pastureland with ponds and everything in between all in a bend of the Barren River.  It's turned into a treasure hunt of sorts, trying to spot something new everyday.  And my life adventure is about to take a huge turn as I will soon be moving to the Piney Woods of NE Texas with a whole new list of treasure to discover.

So, thanks again for the explanation and for helping this budding bird watcher expand her knowledge base....

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Otherwise, an accurate report of the species is always better than an inaccurate subspecies report.

Hear, hear!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...