Canada Warbler

Today at the Spring bird banding at Wickiup Outdoor Learning Center, the banders and spectators were surprised and delighted by the capture of a handsome male Canada Warbler (Cardellina canadensis or Wilsonia canadensis depending on which source one uses).

Photographing at a bird banding event is sometimes a hit or miss affair. We do not want to get in the banders and recorders way and the other spectators want to see both the common and uncommon birds. Sometimes birds are held briefly against acceptable backgrounds and we make a few images.

The banders said that they rarely find Canada Warblers in their mist nets. This one may be one of the few that claims a territory here in Iowa or may still be headed to the northwoods of Minnesota and Wisconsin or on to Canada. One of their common names of this boreal bird is the Necklaced Warbler. The band of black splotches against his yellow throat and breast are distinctive as is the black flecks outlined in gray on his head.

The white eye ring around his large eyes and the yellow streak above his beak are also identifiers. In the top image his nostrils are apparent as are his rictal bristles. This warbler often catches insects like flycatchers do. The rictal bristles are thought to help protect his eyes from insect legs and antennas when he is catching them in the air.

The image of the top of his head was made in the tent canopy where the banding, measuring and recording occurred. The image is a good example of why color correction is sometimes needed to represent colors accurately. In the sunlight his back feathers are a blue-gray.

Here the colors were corrected in Lightroom so that the feathers appear more closely to how they would have been in sunlight, though they were photographed in the shade. The light is softer in the shade but the colors are truer. Compare to the color to the image of the bird in bright sunlight.

Under the banders’ tent canopy the light was filtered and had a much warmer cast. Color is so often affected by the colors around it and what the light on the subject is travelling through. Both images were processed the same but with and without color correction of an original raw file.

We were surprised by how warm the photos under the tent were. Human eyes and brains make all sorts of corrections that cameras cannot yet do.

One Response to “Canada Warbler”

  1. Rosemary Says:

    Neat, thanks for posting! I’m also very happy to read your reports on the Chimney Swifts again this year.