February 2023

Vol. 51, No. 1

At a Glance: December 2022 Revealed

Wayne R. Petersen

At a Glance: December 2022 by Carl Goodrich

To wind up Volume 50 of Bird Observer, readers were again faced with a rather ghoulish image for the final mystery species of the year. Superficially resembling a washed-out Black-capped Chickadee with its dark throat, extensive white malar stripe between the eye and gray cheek, and whitish underparts, this bird somehow does not look quite right for the beloved little state bird of Massachusetts. Furthermore, the distinct white line above the eye is inappropriate for a chickadee. Before peeking at the color version of the mystery bird on the Bird Observer website, notice also the very slender legs and sharp-pointed bill of the mystery species. There are few groups of birds in Massachusetts that share such slender or attenuated features. Of all the species sharing these characteristics, perhaps none exhibit them more prominently than warblers.

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