The Outside World, In and Around Duluth

Yellow Rumped Warblers

We had a bird visitor for much of the weekend that was completely stymieing me. I kept thinking that it must be a pine siskin, but it didn’t totally look like a pine siskin. Well, turns out it wasn’t. It was a yellow-rumped warbler.

Here’s a pine siskin (for reference):


And here’s the yellow rumped warbler:


Now, seeing one without the other, you can see how they’d be mistaken: yellow on the side, sort of streaky, brownish and whitish… At Hartley, they call birds like these ‘LBJs’: little brown jobbers. The thing that got me was that the warbler had a ring around its eye. Pine siskins don’t have that. Isn’t that crazy? It’s not as though I thought ‘Hmmm, pine siskin? No, they don’t have a ring around the eye.’ I’m not that good. It was just that something seemed off. And I was having a hard time in the bird books because the traditional yellow rumped warbler is usually more grey than brown. You can see some grey in there. This one is either female or adolescent.

And I know you’re all dying to know: does a yellow rumped warbler have a yellow rump? Yes indeedy. You can see it a bit here:


I am, once again, amazed and impressed by the people who originally figured all these birds out without having a field guide at their fingers.


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