Birds of Seabrook Island

COAST BIRDS
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WORLD BIRDS
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ANECDOTES

  Yellow-rumped Warbler
 
 

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Species Acct.
Loons
Grebes
Procellarids
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Waterfowl
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Turkeys
Quail
Rails
Limpkin
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Auks
Doves
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Owls
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Swifts
Hummers
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Woodpckrs
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Crows/Jays
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Tits
Nuthatches
Creepers
Wrens
Kinglets
Gnatcatchers
Thrushes
Mimids
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Pipits
Waxwings
NW Warblers
Tanagers
NWSparrows
Cardinalines
Icterids
Finches
OWSparrows

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  Order Passeriformes
   Suborder Passeres - Oscines (Song Birds)
      Parvorder Passerida (Superfamily Passeroidea)
         Nine-primaried Oscines
            Family Parulidae - Wood-Warblers (New World Warblers)

  Passerines are generally smaller than non-passerines. They have a perching foot with three toes directed forward and the one backward with locking tendons to facilitate perching when their tendons are flexed. All passerines scratch by bringing the foot over the wing. Incubation ranges from 11 -21 days. Young hatch blind with little or no down and spend 10-15 days or so in the nest - development is rapid and parents provide care beyond fledging.
Oscines are passerines with complex syringeal musculature used to produce varied vocalizations. 
Passeroids include the Nine-primaried Oscines, pipits, Old World sparrows, and weavers.
Nine-primaried Oscines include New World warblers, icterids (New World blackbirds), emberizines (buntings), tanagers, cardinalines (cardinals), and fringillines (finches).
New World Warblers are small and mostly arboreal, nine-primaried oscines with slender bills. Many are sexually dimorphic with brightly colored nuptial plumages. More northerly populations are migratory.  Our most obvious permanent resident is the Pine Warbler. Northern Parulas and Yellow-throated Warblers are prominent breeding warblers. In winter, look for the most abundant North American warbler, the Yellow-rumped Warbler, the less abundant Palm Warbler and Orange-crowned Warbler. The Black-and-white Warbler is a common migrant. Many other warblers may be found on Seabrook during migration, especially in the fall when their identification may be difficult.
Typical Warblers (Dendroica) include many colorful oscines, some of which are very long distance migrants while others remain here. Most have white spots in their tails and breeding males are brighter than females (they are sexually dimorphic) or males in the fall.
  Winter Warblers on Seabrook - Yellow-rumped Warblers are active and noisy - constantly chattering as they forage (Palm Warblers are deliberate foragers and are generally quiet). "Butterbuts" are also present in larger social groups (10 to 20) where palms are usually in groups of 3-4 or so.
     
     
  Yellow-rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata
 
   Cornell     USGS     Wiki     EoL
        WINTER - Abundant / Abundant
            WOODED HABITATS, BRUSH, EDGES, SUBURBS
MORE PICTURES
 
   Yellow-rumped Warblers ("butter-butts") are found in open woodlands and brushy areas and in edges all over Seabrook in winter - it is our most obvious and most widely distributed winter warbler, arriving in November and departing in April. All have a bright yellow-rump that is obvious when individuals fly and is often seen in perched birds. They show some white in the outer tail feathers when they fly. They have white wing bars (brighter in adults), streaked bellies bordering yellow on the flanks, and a yellow cap in adult males. The face is black and there is a white eye-line.
   The throat? Eastern and boreal representatives have a white throat and were formerly called "Myrtle Warblers" (they feed on the waxy berries of our myrtles). Western mountain representatives, "Audubon Warblers," have a yellow throat - I've watched them feed a young cowbird near Moose, WY and the throat really looks different. These were formerly considered separate species but are now united under one name. On Seabrook, the name Myrtle Warbler, really seems more appropriate since this numerous resident is often found in our wax myrtles.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

     
Yellow-rumped Warbler.
Palmetto Lake
   
  RANGE: The Yellow-rumped Warbler breeds broadly across Canada from Labrador to Hudson Bay to Alaska and south in the western mountains into Mexico. It is one of our most widely distributed warblers. In our spring banding on the East Coast, every other warbler caught was a Yellow-rumped Warbler. This is the most abundant warbler in Canada. They are also one of the last to migrate in the fall (our first birds appear in October).
  BREEDING: Monogamous. Often 2 broods. The female builds a cup-like nest of bark, weeds, twigs and rootlets, located on a horizontal branch in a conifer. She lays 4-5 (3) eggs which she incubates for 12-13 days. Young are altricial and fledge after 10-12 days. Both parents care for the young. They often have two broods. The male probably feeds young of the first clutch while the female begins the second cycle.
  DIET: They feed on insects and, in winter, berries of shrubs. They may skim insects from the surface of water. They may be more winter-hardy than other warblers because they can digest the wax in berry coatings. They are versatile feeders -foraging in branches and twigs, flycatching, feeding on the ground, clinging to trunks and branches. Male forage higher than females. They forage in flocks in winter.
  VOICE: Their song is a clear warble, soft and flat. There are two parts with the last phrases lower or higher. We hear it on Seabrook beginning in late March - April and hear it until May when all have left. The song is quite delicate and very nice.
 

NOTES:
   Checklists -
      Seabrook. Kiawah - common fall through spring. Edisto - winter.
      Coastal - common winter visitor. Hilton Head - common winter visitor. Cape Romain - occasional/absent/abundant/abundant.
         Huntington Beach
- uncommon September; abundant October - April; common May.
      Caw Caw - common/absent/common/common. ACE - abundant/absent/common/abundant.
   Kiawah Island banding - Capn' Sam's spit - 87 (4 recaptures) Oct-Nov 2009 (earliest 22 Oct); 371 (11 recaptures) Jan-Feb 2010;
        30 (4 recaptures) Mar 2010; 224 (14 recaptures) Oct-Nov 2010 (earliest 14 Oct); 166 (40 recaptures) Jan-Mar 2011; (1 repeat) Apr 2011;
        460 (47 repeats) Oct-Nov 2011 (earliest, first week of Oct); 193 (30 repeats) Dec 2011 - Mar 2012. Cougar Island - 3 Oct 2009.
CBC: ACE 1120, 805, 1697, 2986, 730, 751, 707, 1271; Charleston 8015, 5726, 7651, 2801, 1532, 3580, 7599, 2545;
St Helena/Fripp x, x, x, x, x, x, 260, 349; Hilton Head 4552, 3518, 2844, 4132, 2553, 2519, 2260, 49664;
                Sun City/Okatie 614, 858, 1173, 2798, 695, 1483, 760, 967;
McClellanville 2564, 476, 2216, 2754, nc, 287, 983, 699; Winyah Bay x, x, 314, 947, 287, 335, 623, 450;
Litchfield/Pawley's 2172, 957, 1320, 1551, 1242, 1377, 1907, 1802.
P&G: Winter visitor, abundant. 7 September -15 May. Accidental in summer. Maximum: 8467, Awendaw/Cape Romain, 30 December 1984.
Avendex: 6 records (including maximum, above).
Potter: Common winter resident from late September or early October to mid-May.

  ●  Common - abundant in winter. On Seabrook, flock of these warblers move in loose aggregations around the island all winter with characteristic "chips" that probably serve as contact notes among the birds and alert observers to their presence. Lean their notes and you'll see many more around the island. Look for active flocks with bright yellow "butterbutts" when they fly.
       
    Banner - Yellow-rumped Warbler. Palmetto Lake.
       
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KEY:    ■ Seabrook list     □ Kiawah list