Bird #312a — Brewster’s Warbler

vermivora (from vermis, worm, and vorare, to devour) leucobronchialis (white throated)

Friday, May 26, 2000 — 9:20 am

Ringwood, Illinois – Glacial Park

I was walking the Deerpath trail between the kame and the wooded hill. I was dividing my attention between two Blue-winged Warblers that were singing and foraging in the brush and tangles and three Yellow-breasted Chats that were singing and chasing all over the area. They were more conspicuous than any Chats I’ve ever seen.

I saw a small bird dive into a tangle right along the trail as I approached. I could see branches moving around, but couldn’t see the bird. I pished and saw a small bird fly out past me and land in a small dead tree about 20 feet away. I looked at it with my binoculars and knew immediately what it was.

It looked very much like the picture in Peterson’s eastern field guide except that the yellow patch on the chest was brighter and a bit more extensive, perhaps the size of a penny. It was white below, except for that yellow spot. It had a yellow crown and yellow wing bars. The only black was the line through the eye. It was singing a song that had the same tone as the nearby Blue-winged Warblers, but a different pattern. The song consisted of a few jumbled buzzy notes, then a long buzzy trill.

About an hour later, I saw a Golden-winged Warbler singing in the thicket along the bike trail by Nippersink Creek.

I’ve been chasing down every Blue-winged Warbler I’ve heard this year, probably about 10 of them, in hopes of seeing a hybrid. I don’t know why, but I just had a feeling this was my year.

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