Winter is coming has become our latest saying with this quick shift to later fall migrants. That is, until this past weekend (October 7-8) when we had a sudden backwash of September migrants that included Scarlet Tanager, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Wood-Pewee, and (possibly our first fall record and our 26th warbler species for the season) Hooded Warbler.
But, we were quickly reminded that indeed fall is progressing with the capture of our 27th warbler species, Western Palm Warbler, and then by the true harbinger of winter, the Fox Sparrow. But even though winter has been on our minds, some of our most interesting birds this past week are the ones that are a little more enigmatic.
Aside from looking just at the head feathers, we were able to accurately age these EASO’s by looking at the alula feathers and primary coverts in the wing. Just from an immediate glance, you can already see that there is a difference in the amount and shape of light areas in the wings of these two birds.