Yellow-throated Warbler - Central Park, April 12th 2009
Images and text copyright © Phil Jeffrey 2009
A first spring male Yellow-throated Warbler was present in Central Park from at least Friday April 10th - Wednesday April 15th, and was very cooperative, feeding on the ground or on the lead (?) roof of an old small concession stand at the Conservatory Water/Model Boat Pond. This behavior is in stark contrast to breeding individuals I find in NJ, which are often clear at the top of pine trees in Belleplain State Forest or Jake's Landing. NYC is just north of the breeding range of this species, so like Prothonotary Warbler this qualifies as an "overshoot" migrant. The last time a few appeared in Central Park was April of 2005 - that year I even found one on E66th Street (April 25th 2005). In this case there was one in Brooklyn at Dreier-Offerman Park and one in Central Park on the weekend of April 11th/12th.This is a male by virtue of the clean white background to the dark streaking in the flanks, a first-year male by limited black on the head and by feather wear on the primaries and especially the retrices (one of which is still rather pointed). It appears to be of the expected eastern dominica subspecies because of yellow in the lores, however Pyle shows the albilora ssp. as having a little yellow, so this is somewhat ambiguous. The bill length is not startlingly long, so this may also point a little to albilora although there's a fair amount of overlap in this feature. Cornell's Birds of America Online account is rather sparse and largely useless for this determination (especially in terms of ssp. range maps) but on the lores it for albilora it states "In D. d. albilora, eyebrow stripe is usually entirely white (rarely washed with yellow on anterior portion), throat more deeply orange, and inner web of outermost rectrix more extensively white." Tentatively assigned this bird as Dendroica dominica dominica.
Phil Jeffrey, Apr 2009