The Priairie Warbler (pictured left) was banded as a second-year male (a bird hatched in 2018 and now in his second calendar-year). Even from just this picture we can tell that he is an SY based on the faded, ragged condition of his flight feathers and primary coverts, in contrast to adjacent feathers of better condition. These flight feathers and primary coverts are retained juvenal feathers that were grown in the nest last summer and are of lesser quality than those of an adult bird's feathers. Because of this quality difference, these feathers are more susceptible to wear and exposure from the elements, and by spring can become extremely faded and "chewed" up. Contrasts such as this are what we look for when determining the age of birds.
As we come to the close of April we are hoping that the old saying is true: "April showers bring May warblers." We have had quite a few days of rain and wind hammer northwest Ohio, and are interested to see how persistent northerly winds have affected the progression of migration through the region (especially as we head towards BSBO's Biggest Week In American Birding). Current weather forecasts indicate that Wednesday and Thursday, the 1st and 2nd, could be suitable days for migration; bringing in more Yellow Warblers, Prothonotary Warblers, and Swainson's Thrushes, among others.