Search This Blog

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Yellow-breasted Chat, a "Good Bird"

A "good bird" for a birder who likes to see rarities is often the wrong bird in the wrong place at the wrong time. There's recently been seen a Yellow-breasted Chat in New Hampshire, a surprise bird, out of it's usual range. There was also one there in Nov. 2012 and that is when I took above photos. We went to see that cool warbler in 2012 in the backyard of some birders lucky enough to have this avian celebrity. Yellow-breasted Chat is classified with warblers, but it doesn't seem like a warbler. It's big and slow and large-billed compared to tiny, hyper, delicate warblers. The backyard had just what Chats like, lots of tangled growth of brambles and shrubs to hang out in. The Chat was being pampered with oranges and dried mealworms, which she scampered out happily to consume. 

That previous NH Yellow-breasted Chat was a female (the male has black lores with black bill and gray lower base to bill, female has gray lores and brownish bill with yellowish-pink base to lower mandible.) She is the virens subspecies which occurs from e. SD-e. TX and east and these birds have  a white moustachial stripe that is small and narrow and stops below the eye.  Below are photos of a bird I photographed in GA in winter and it is the auricollis subspecies which occurs from s. SK-w. TX and west, vag. to GA and has a white moustachial stripe that is large and white and extends to behind eye.

For more on Yellow-breasted Chats and all other birds, see our best-selling, most complete field guide, The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America.

No comments: