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Prothonotary warbler in Mexico in July ? (1 Viewer)

Valéry Schollaert

Respect animals, don't eat or wear their body or s
Hi everyone,

I've spotted this nice bird yesterday in Felipe Carillo Puerto, Quintana Roo, Mexico, with a group of Spanish birders. Far from its breeding range, far from its favourite swamp forests, we all believe it might be a Prothonotary Warbler, seemingly juvenile. Just a odd record or did we miss something ?

Thank you for your thoughts !

Regards,

Valéry



myster1.JPG
 

birdmeister

Well-known member
United States
Fantastic photo! I looked at the eBird map and there are some (not that many) records in the Yucatan Peninsula starting around 23 July, often of birds like this with more subdued plumage colors. Looks like you happened upon one of the early returning migrants.
 

WACCOE

Marching on Together
Myself and another birder saw one in Playa del Carmen near the Riu Tequilla hotel in 2015 and that was in late July.
 

njlarsen

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Barbados
Could I ask where this is from? (Warbler Guide doesn't mention juvenile per se at all - but it doesn't give any of these features as an ageing criterion.)

The first two was based on my view of what was drawn in field guides and some photos I compared with. The pointed tips of the tail feathers is a sign of a young bird in this entire group. To find a good image to compare with is surprisingly difficult, but check for example this one: Prothonotary Warbler Macaulay Library ML154974831 - I do not believe the tip of the tail would look this even if the individual feathers were as pointed as they are on the op bird.
Niels
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
Cyprus
I think this is a first year bird on bill alone but this link shows adult female with pointed tail feathers?

 

Butty

Well-known member
Pointed rectrices are a feature of European, juvenile passerines AFAIK.
Regular, overall, gradual tapering, yes - or there is a tendency for this to be so (per Mr Svensson's ringer's guide). But not this sort of sticky-out-point-type pointiness (what us botanists call 'acuminate').

this link shows adult female with pointed tail feathers?
From looking (not v thoroughly) at photos, it looks like prothonotary warblers just do have tail-feathers this shape?? - subject to wear, of course. And the fact that this bird's are so neatly-formed, in July, suggests it's a fresh juvenile.
 

njlarsen

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I could
Regular, overall, gradual tapering, yes - or there is a tendency for this to be so (per Mr Svensson's ringer's guide). But not this sort of sticky-out-point-type pointiness (what us botanists call 'acuminate').


From looking (not v thoroughly) at photos, it looks like prothonotary warblers just do have tail-feathers this shape?? - subject to wear, of course. And the fact that this bird's are so neatly-formed, in July, suggests it's a fresh juvenile.
I could not find a photo of a certain adult male showing that pattern in the tail. That makes me believe that the one labeled female might be a mislabeled immature bird?

I have seen similar strongly pointed tail feathers before even though I do not remember which species was discussed. I am fairly certain it was a new world species (or maybe more than one example?).
Niels
 

njlarsen

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Perhaps because 'certain adult males' are only certainly identifiable as males in spring? - when the point may well have worn off?
The point seems to be centered on the shaft of the feather. My impression is that shafts wear less then the rest of the feather so I would actually expect the opposite effect of feather wear.
Niels
 

Butty

Well-known member
I see your point (!) - but I don't think that can be so, or all feathers on every bird species would wear in this way - which they don't. I suspect, however, that both of us are now in the area of (I hope informed and intelligent) speculation. If someone does actually know the facts of prothonotary warbler tail-feather-tip shape as influenced (or not) by age and abrasion, it would be good to hear.
 

njlarsen

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I see your point (!) - but I don't think that can be so, or all feathers on every bird species would wear in this way - which they don't. I suspect, however, that both of us are now in the area of (I hope informed and intelligent) speculation. If someone does actually know the facts of prothonotary warbler tail-feather-tip shape as influenced (or not) by age and abrasion, it would be good to hear.
As an experiment I went to ebird and searched media of this species with limitations of August to December. I see plenty of birds looking like adult males ...
You probably have to add the time limits back after opening the link - I do not see anything about time limit in the link itself.
Niels
 

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