Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bay breasted or Parula????????????

Abe from recently posted a picture of a northern parula. I saw it late after 16 people commented on it. To me it looks different. I went in my sibleys and really thought it looked like a female bay breasted. I could be totally wrong and thats why i am making this post below is the picture he took with my arrows on it.

ARROW 1- shows the white patches on the side of face. Seen on bay breasted warblers not parulas.

ARROW2- Shows the rufous colors below the face and there are some down the sides that most bay breasts have.

Parulas and bay breasted both have wing bars and female bay breasted have the eye ring making them hard to differ from parulas. The key feauture that stuck out was the white on the side of face. Notice abes and the two other bay breasted pictures have the white pale sides of face but the parula doesnt. Lets hope this is a bay breasted and Abe will have a new lifer bird!!

Below is a parula notice there are no pale sides of neck


  1. My best guess is that it is not a Parula (I am rather confident about this).
    I don't have my books here right now but would not be surprised if I heard someone call it a first-spring male Bay-breasted.

  2. Hi Birdboy - I took the liberty of downloading Abe's picture and I lightened it in Picasa - definitely not a perula and I think you are dead on - a female baybreasted! Lucky Abe!!! Really nice shot of this lovely bird!

  3. If you go back to my birds blog and click on Northern Parula

    you will see two birds. I had the same problem with both but come to the conclusion that is what they were or are. Like I said, I might well be mistaken. The one you have not seen yet is different and I thought an immature bird because of its yellow breast.

    And there is still the problem associated with the location. There are a lot of these along a creek where I go down here and I don't know how many thousands of miles it is from the place where the Bay Breasted Warbler has its home range.

    Also, the birds I saw do not have the brownish head feathers.

  4. The bird is a Bay-breasted Warbler. The throat is reddish like a Bay-breated. If it was a parula it would never have red it would be yellow. The pale sides of the neck also point to the Bay-breasted. The parula's neck sides are blue. There are some other things that you can tell them apart by but I think that these field marks alone are enough to tell them apart.

  5. I guess that is it then. So I need to make some corrections for the post. What is the second picture -- the one with the yellow breast?

  6. I agree - Bay-breasted Warbler. All guides need to be taken as impressions of the bird, but this photo appears to be almost exactly the photo in Kaufman's guide. It may have been seen "out of range" but it has to pass through to get to its range. Good going Birdboy!

  7. Abe the second is defenitely a parula with the yellow throat and blue back

  8. Excellent ID birdboy! Very observant!