Vested Yellow-rumped Warbler – Field Notes

I’m still fooled by birds, especially when they aren’t in their proper clothing. And this time of year is when I’m fooled most. Especially by winter birds turning into their summer clothes. This was the case the last weekend when I was in doubt over a couple of vested Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Walking through Atterbury’s woods a pair of birds kept showing only straight-on head shots or slightly from the side. Small, grayish birds with pointed faces.

This cropped photo gives the idea of the pointed faces. The birds were darker and the lightening worse than this photo.

The birds kept working their way through the trees keeping very quiet. Not helping me there. Then they started to show a glimpse of a dark vest, similar to an Olive-sided Flycatcher.

The birds appeared to have a vest similar to an Olive-sided Flycatcher. Atterbury FWA June 2014

I kept wracking my brain what it could be??

My thoughts were of … Maybe Cerulean Warbler since these birds appeared bluish in the light. Though the habitat was correct it was too early in the spring. And they were more dark than blue.

An early Eastern Wood-Pewee with a deep vest? Doubtful.

Finally one of the birds turned and showed a yellow rump.

Vested Yellow-rumped Warbler!

How could I have been fooled?

Since I didn’t get a photo last weekend I didn’t think I’d write this post. But looking back I had photos of Yellow-rumped Warblers from the same weekend last year showing the vest.

A few paragraphs ago I stated being unsure because of bad lighting and poor looks. But the truth is I didn’t remember or didn’t know Yellow-rumped Warblers wear a heavy, dark vest this time of year.

So how was I fooled?

Probably becasue I’m use to seeing Yellow-rumped Warblers in their winter garb before they head north. They are much lighter colored and show just a hint of a vest.

A Yellow-rumped Warbler in December. Not much of a vest.

Another winter bird. A light vest.

Vested Yellow-rumped Warbler

A shot of the bird from last April showing the heavy vest.

Another tidbit of information to put in my memory. And I wasn’t fooled this weekend.

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