Birds of Seabrook Island

COAST BIRDS
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WORLD BIRDS
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ANECDOTES

  Kirtland's Warbler
 
 

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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.
     
     
  Kirtland's Warbler, Setophaga kirtlandii
 
  Cornell     USGS     Wiki     EoL
        MIGRATION - Very rare / Accidental
            JACK PINE FIRE DISCLIMAX
 
 
   Kirtland's Warblers are gray with thin wing-bars and a broken eye-ring. The throat and breast is light yellow with streaks on the flanks. The undertail coverts are white.
   These rare warblers breed locally in Jack Pines in Michigan and winter in the Bahamas. They have been adversely affected by cowbird parasitism. Over the years they have been studied intensively by an amateur birder, Harold Mayfield of Toledo, OH. Click for a picture of Harold leading a field trip at North Cape.
   Migrants should cross the South Carolina coast between Charleston and Beaufort Counties but sightings suggest a pathway along the Piedmont and inner coastal plain. 
 
       
  NOTES:
   Checklists -
      Coastal - very rare transient. Cape Romain - accidental.
   P&G: Very rare migrant - 3 specimens and 6 sightings. 27 April - 5 May, 1 September - 29 October. No acceptable reports since 1967.
   Avendex: No reports.
   Potter: Fall migration begins in late August with fall records in the Carolinas from late August to October. There are only 6 reports of spring migrants -- they include on from Beaufort Co. In our area, they frequent thickets and woodland edges on high ground beyond the wet margins of lakes, ponds and swamps. They tend to associate with other warbler species (Pine, Palm, Yellow-rumped Warbkers). Also males may sing after leaving the breeding grounds.
  ●  Accidental. With concern over breeding habitats and cowbird parasitism and habitat destruction on their wintering areas, Kirtland's Warblers may well be in decline.
       
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