Date: Jan 18 08:52:53 2000
From: Kraig,Eric - kraige at

Sounds like habitat could be a determining factor in winter warbler
abundance. The question is: What aspects of habitat favor the different
species? I think we can safely say that myrtle/willow scrub on the
immediate coast is preferred by the Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler. Michael
Dossett indicates that Yellow-rumped (Audubon's) prefer open brush. Nick
Pharris reports them in deciduous(?) growth near Capitol Lake. Anyone else?
Where do you see yellow-rumps in the winter? Are they alone or in flocks?

Most of my Townsend's sightings are in the Lacey-Northeast Thurston County
area. I see them often, both in my backyard/neighborhood and at work in
downtown Lacey. Both areas are mixtures of second-growth Doug fir and what
you might call "dry" Puget Sound scrub, dominated by Scouler willow,
madrona, and sticky laurel. I was amazed by Wayne Weber's stats from the
CBC - I would never have guessed that yellow-rumps were more often counted
than Townsend's, but this was based on my owned "habitat" bias. In this
apparently preferred habitat, it's not uncommon to see groups of 4-6
Townsend's; I've seen large pure flocks of Townsend's occasionally, one of
which contained at least 70 birds.

Are there other local hotspots for Townsend's? In what sort of habitat are
we seeing them in the winter?

Eric Kraig
Olympia, WA
mailto:kraige at