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Tricky Geothlypis Warbler – Harrisburg, PA

Alex Lamoreaux|

Unknown Geothlypis Warbler - Harrisburg, PA (Photo by Sue Hannon)

Check out these photos taken by Sue Hannon of a Geothlypis warbler found today in Highspire Park near Harrisburg, PA. The bird is absolutely a Mourning OR MacGillivray’s Warbler, but which one? The eyering is thicker on the top of the eye and below the eye, but there is a narrow line connecting them behind the eye. The white-ish throat, blue patch on the upper breast, and long tail are also good field marks for MacGillivray’s Warbler, not to mention it is November 22nd. Let’s hope the bird sticks around for more birders to study and photograph tomorrow, but in the meantime – what do you think? Here is the link to all of Sue’s photos. There is only one record of MacGillivray’s Warbler in PA.

Unknown Geothlypis Warbler - Harrisburg, PA (Photo by Sue Hannon)

Unknown Geothlypis Warbler – Harrisburg, PA (Photo by Sue Hannon)

Unknown Geothlypis Warbler - Harrisburg, PA (Photo by Sue Hannon)

Unknown Geothlypis Warbler – Harrisburg, PA (Photo by Sue Hannon)

Unknown Geothlypis Warbler - Harrisburg, PA (Photo by Sue Hannon)

Unknown Geothlypis Warbler – Harrisburg, PA (Photo by Sue Hannon)

Unknown Geothlypis Warbler - Harrisburg, PA (Photo by Sue Hannon)

Unknown Geothlypis Warbler – Harrisburg, PA (Photo by Sue Hannon)

I have few examples of Mourning or MacGillivray’s to post as a comparison, but here is a photo of a MacGillivray’s Warbler that was captured and banded in South Carolina this fall by Josh Lefever.

MacGillivray's Warbler (Photo by Josh Lefever)

MacGillivray’s Warbler (Photo by Josh Lefever)

MacGillivray's Warbler (Photo by Josh Lefever)

MacGillivray’s Warbler (Photo by Josh Lefever)

About the Author

Alex Lamoreaux

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Alex Lamoreaux has been an avid birder and naturalist since he was a youngster, growing up exploring the farmland and forested ridges near Hershey, Pennsylvania. He attended Hershey High School and Penn State University. Alex has worked on wildlife research projects, ranging from Whimbrel along the coast of Virginia to Yellow-billed Cuckoos in the desert southwest. Alex loves to share his knowledge of nature, as well as help to bring the birding community together to share the enjoyment that spending time in nature has to offer. Alex has helped to organize and coordinate birding events in his home state of Pennsylvania and beyond. He has traveled extensively throughout North America, Central America, and South Africa and is currently pursuing nature tour guiding, as well as continuing to refine his passion for wildlife photography.Contact Info for Alex Lamoreaux: aslamoreaux@gmail.com (717) 943-7086

  • We arrived at the Highspire Reservoir at about 3:30 and stayed to 4:25. It took a while but at about 4:15 the MacGilllivary’s, which is supported by Sue’s photos, was located in the brush just past the first bend in the boardwalk trail, before the bench and woodpile and behind a tree trunk with a “Private Property” sign. We were able to see the white eye arcs, not a complete eye ring, and the gray head, throat, and upper breast. Richard, because of a slightly different angle, also noticed the darker gray mark in the center of the gray/yellow breast line … also shown in Sue’s photos.
    Great find Sue and supper photos !

    Dick and Pat Williams
    Hummelstown, PA

  • Sue Hannon

    I goofed and changed the name of the Photobucket album, so the link provided above will not work. Here is the new link. http://s68.photobucket.com/user/westwindschild/library/Possible%20MacGillivrays%20Warbler