Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Juvenile Common Yellowthroat

Common YellowthroatJuvenile Common Yellowthroat, Fernhill Wetlands, Forest Grove, Oregon on 26 August 2009 by Greg Gillson.


A nice walk this morning around the local wetlands revealed very few birds, as typical for late summer. What were present, though, were many juvenile birds. There were young Green Herons, Barn Swallows, Song Sparrows, Savannah Sparrows, House Finches, and young Western Sandpipers already on their way south from their nests on the arctic tundra of Alaska.

There were also many young Common Yellowthroats, which we discussed earlier this spring. The bird above appears in plumage as a typical female Common Yellowthroat, but for one obvious difference. The tail of adult Yellowthroats are very round. As you can see on the photo above, the tail appears strongly notched on this bird and the individual tail feathers are very sharply pointed. This is a characteristic of many juvenile birds, from ducks to songbirds.

Watch for this feature on the birds visiting your feeder or when you are out in the field this summer.

1 comment:

  1. While I have seen several male Common Yellowthroats in the past (especially in Mountour, Idaho and along the Salt River in Mesa, AZ) my father-in-law and I were stumped by a female earlier this summer at Malheur NWR. After racking our brains and thumbing through various guide books, we still couldn't agree on what we were seeing. Finally a male popped up next to her and quickly settled it for us.