A(nother) Townsend's Warbler in MA

In the April 2008 issue of The Connecticut Warbler, I wrote an article entitled "Connecticut's Next 15 Birds." Thirteen experienced CT birders submitted a list of ten species he/she thought were the most likely to be added to the state's list of avifauna. Only one bird received a vote from all 13 members of the panel: Townsend's Warbler.

Townsend's has been seen in every northeastern state except CT and Vermont. New York, for example, has at least 18 records by itself! Massachusetts has a large handful of records, with three coming in the past 5 years. That includes a stunning male currently being seen in the greater Boston area. Erik Nielsen of Westwood, MA took some fantastic photos of the bird this morning; you can find them HERE.

While most birders think of late autumn/winter as the time to find this species in New England, there are many spring records as well. This species can be confused with Black-throated Green or even Blackburnian Warbler if one is not aware of the possibility. In fact, this Boston bird was initially reported as a Black-throated Green Warbler.

So check out Erik's photos, learn the song (buzzy like BT Green), and be prepared just in case!

- Nick


  1. It's pretty unbelievable that CT has yet to get a Townsend's. Even NH has a whopping 3 records. All of ours were November/December though.

  2. I don't know what it is about BC and major rarities since I left - last year the Fork-tailed Flycatcher and now this!

  3. Ben - Yikes, you know things are bad when NH is rubbing it in! (I kid)

    Ryan - True, but you may have used up all your luck with the "seawatch" you had at the reservoir, and the YT Warbler you found if I remember right.


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