Wayne R. Petersen
DAVID M. LARSON
The mystery species in this issue is more challenging than some other recent selections, and readers may find it advantageous to view the mystery photograph in color on the Bird Observer website. Regardless of how the image is viewed, however, several helpful aspects of the mystery bird are obvious. First, as indicated by its size compared to the oak flowers around it, the mystery species is a small bird, and the presence of these tree flowers indicates that the picture was likely taken in May. The bird appears to be singing, suggesting that it is a male, and it is possibly a warbler given its slim pointed bill and overall proportions, including a relatively short tail.
In the black-and-white image of the bird, its underparts are devoid of streaks, and in the online color version there's a slight blush of yellowish on the throat and upper breast. The color image also shows that the bird has a light gray cap and what appear to be whitish eye-arcs, a similarly colored supercilium, and the suggestion of a dark stripe through the eye. These features, combined with the bird's short tail and white undertail coverts, are most obvious in the color photo.
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. Bird Observer publishes original articles on birding locations, on avian populations and natural history, on regional rarities, field notes, field records, photographs, and art work.