Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Tail of Three Rumps

Yesterday was another one of those days when I just couldn't stay cooped up inside any longer than I had to, so I snuck out at lunch and headed for my favorite near-the-office neighborhood park.

I had hoped to spot the local Downy Woodpecker around the nest, but alas the park really wasn't very birdy at all until I crossed over to the opposite side of the bayou.

Yellow-rumped Warbler - 2/23/2009
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Dendroica coronata)

I did finally encounter a small group of Yellow-rumped Warblers right at the treeline, and watched them flit around scolding each other (or me?) for a bit. But when I got back and took a look at the handful of pictures I had snapped, I noticed something interesting.

Of the three warblers that I happened to get underside shots of, the markings of each were very distinguishable. (I'm sure that's nothing new to most of you, but this is a new insight to me.)

(Click any image to enlarge)

I have no idea whether the tail markings or the amount of yellow or streaking on the breast identifies either gender or age, but I was just intrigued by the amount of difference between birds. Next step: start reading and see what the various markings can tell me.

No comments: