ABACO WARBLERS: THE FAMOUS 5 (PERMANENT RESIDENTS)


Bahama Warbler, Abaco Bahamas (Bruce Hallett)

Bahama Warbler, Abaco Bahamas (Bruce Hallett)

ABACO WARBLERS: THE FAMOUS 5 (PERMANENT RESIDENTS)

There are 37 warbler species recorded for Abaco. They fall into three distinct categories. Surprisingly perhaps, only 5 species are permanently resident on Abaco, ie non-migratory. Then there are warblers that commute from the breeding grounds of North America to warmer climes in the Fall, returning in the Spring to breed. Some will be familiar – PALM WARBLER, AMERICAN REDSTART, BLACK-AND -WHITE WARBLER. Others, like the HOODED WARBLER, are less common. One or two are very rare indeed, such as the KIRTLAND’S WARBLERS that choose Abaco as a winter destination. Finally there are the so-called transients, warbler species that use the northern Bahamas as a stopover during their longer migratory flights, such as the BLACKPOLL WARBLER.

The 5  permanent residents obviously don’t migrate, so there is a chance to find them throughout the year. The pine forests would generally be the best place to start the quest. Importantly, 2 of the 5 species are endemic birds to the Bahamas and can be found nowhere else: BAHAMA YELLOWTHROAT and BAHAMA WARBLER. The latter and the OLIVE-CAPPED WARBLER, are very range-restricted, and only found on Abaco and Grand Bahama.

Yellow Warbler at sunrise.Abaco Bahamas.6.13.Tom Sheley copy copy

THE 5 PERMANENT RESIDENTS

BAHAMA YELLOWTHROAT Geothlypis rostrata PR B 1  ENDEMIC

Bahama Yellowthroat, Abaco Bahamas (Gerlinde Taurer)Bahama Yellowthroat, Abaco Bahamas (Bruce Hallett)

Yellow Warbler at sunrise.Abaco Bahamas.6.13.Tom Sheley copy copy

YELLOW WARBLER Setophaga petechia PR B 1 

Yellow Warbler, Abaco Bahamas (Tom Sheley)Yellow Warbler (f), Abaco Bahamas (Bruce Hallett)

Yellow Warbler at sunrise.Abaco Bahamas.6.13.Tom Sheley copy copy

OLIVE-CAPPED WARBLER Setophaga pityophila PR B 1 

Olive-capped Warbler, Abaco Bahamas (Tom Sheley)Olive-capped Warbler, Abaco Bahamas (Tom Sheley)

Yellow Warbler at sunrise.Abaco Bahamas.6.13.Tom Sheley copy copy

PINE WARBLER Setophaga pinus PR B 1 

Pine warbler (m) Abaco Bahamas (Bruce Hallett)

Pine warbler (m) Abaco Bahamas (Tom Reed)

Yellow Warbler at sunrise.Abaco Bahamas.6.13.Tom Sheley copy copy

BAHAMA WARBLER Setophaga flavescens PR B 1 ENDEMIC

Bahama Warbler, Abaco Bahamas - Alex HughesBahama Warbler, Abaco Bahamas - Alex Hughes

Yellow Warbler at sunrise.Abaco Bahamas.6.13.Tom Sheley copy copy

PHOTO CREDITS Bruce Hallett (1, 3, 5, 8, 11); Gerlinde Taurer (2); Tom Sheley (4, 6, 7); Tom Reed (9); Alex Hughes (10, 11)

CHECKLIST CODES based on the complete checklist and codes for Abaco devised by Tony White with Woody Bracey for “THE DELPHI CLUB GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF ABACO” by Keith Salvesen

14 thoughts on “ABACO WARBLERS: THE FAMOUS 5 (PERMANENT RESIDENTS)

    • First, take the highway south from Marsh Harbour. The birding to the north is not nearly so productive. There’s good birding generally (including parrots) around Bahama Palm Shores. It usually where I recommend for day birders, with a variety of habitat and species. Take the north entrance, drive down to the very end (ocean), park up and start the search in coppice and gardens. There’s also a large pond behind the firehouse with a watchtower and scrubland; and some good scrubland along some of the unbuilt-on tracks. There are pines too. You may find the Baha Warbler and Baha Yellowthroat and possibly the Woodstar (look for red firecracker plants for the hummers). For the swallows, keep an eye on the utility lines along the highway. And if you drive south as far as the National Park, head down the track for 1/2 – 1m or so, stop at a logging track crossover and check out along the 4 directions. I recently saw Woodstars and Yellowthroats there in the same location. Hope that helps. PS interesting about the kingbirds. Never heard of them on a boat!

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  1. We saw an unusual Warbler this morning along the scrub line south of White Sound on Elbow Cay. Possible young Yellow Warbler or Nashville Warbler. White eye ring. Grayish upper parts with white wing bars, yellow breast and whitish underbody. Any ideas?

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    • Intriguing! I’ve now seen the VG photo and I’m puzzled. Nashville is (1) very rare on Abaco and (b) a winter resident, and presumably gone by now. I’m thinking in terms of immature Yellow, or – had you considered? – an immature yellowthroat. I haven’t found anything quite like yours in my books / online. I can check with someone else if you want to pursue the ID! RH

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  2. Beautiful birds :-). This was my first time seeing the Bahama Warbler. I like its markings and long decurved bill. After drawing the Cuban Pewee, I looked up The Bahamas and Abaco on Google Maps. I knew The Bahamas were in The Caribbean but I didn’t know exactly where. Now I can imagine looking down on these little birds’ islands from a cloud in the sky ;-).

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