Friday, October 3, 2014

Canada Warbler at Montibelli: A Reminder that Migrants Turn Up Almost Anywhere

Managua-based birder Howard Youth made his third visit to Montibelli on October 2, 2014. Juan Rodriguez was his guide on one of the long, hilly trails. All told, the two tallied 54 species, including one each of Gray-headed Dove (Leptotila plumbeiceps) (heard), Nutting's Flycatcher (Myiarchus nuttingi), Red-throated Ant-Tanager (Habia fuscicauda), and Steely-vented Hummingbird (Amazilia saucerrottei). Eight Blue-throated Goldentails (Hylocharis eliciae) were calling and on territory. Arriving migrants included the best bird of the morning, an immature Canada Warbler (Cardellina canadensis) that Juan spotted actively feeding in the understory. The very faint necklace, white undertail coverts, gray upperparts, yellow underparts, and head pattern were well seen by both birders. Three, perhaps four, Northern Waterthrushes (Parkesia noveboracensis) strutted on damp trails, a Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra) called from the breakfast area, and an Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi) hawked insects from a snag.

Although Nicaragua's northern mountains are best known for wintering or transiting warblers, this Canada Warbler reminds us that Managua-area forests host a variety of warblers as well.