Saturday, February 1, 2014

Did I find a Life Bird in Cave Creek Canyon?

1. what warbler-kab What Warbler is this?

I saw this warbler in Cave Creek Canyon on October 4, 2013 near the Sunny Flats Campground Area. It was high in the trees alongside the road so most of these photos are blurry or my view of the bird is obstructed in one way or another. I really hope it is a Hermit Warbler in fall plumage but fear it is simply a Townsend’s. I only have one clear shot of the bird’s head as it flew from one branch to another. Otherwise it simply crept along the branches and my only views of it are of its underbelly or sides.

2. undertail-kab 


3. creeping along branch-kab Are those cheek patches or shadows?


4. hiding on me-kab There appears to be a few fine streaks on the sides.


5. peekaboo-kab But there isn’t any yellow on the breast.


6. another view from below-kab View from below.


7. backside-kab Back and side view.


8. left side-kab Full on side view.

Besides the fall plumage issue, these two species do interbreed and produce hybrids. While a Hermit Warbler would be a Life Bird for me, I don’t want to claim it if I haven’t seen it. All of these photos were taken within a 60 to 90 second time frame.

9. in flight-kab So…is it a Hermit Warbler or a Townsend's Warbler?

What say you?

Notes: By the time this publishes Gus and I will be on the road and headed east. I will check in whenever I can, but we are travelling with 2 cats and a dog and trying to out maneuver the winter storms! We’ll see how THAT goes!

You can read all the posts from Cave Creek Canyon by clicking the link below.


  1. Cute warbler, sorry I can not help with the id! I hope it is your lifer bird. Have a happy weekend!

  2. HI Kathie I enjoyed the shots of this Warbler however I have no idea what it is.Sorry.

  3. Hi Kathie

    You have got me, but I love the photo where it looks like she is hopping. Safe journeying.


  4. I hope it is your lifer Kathie. Happy and safe travels :)


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.