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Partial leucistic yellow-rumped or cape may?

Spotted an odd looking bird at Wakodahatchee Sunday while out looking for the golden-winged warbler again...from the rear and on initial sighting I assumed it to be a yellow-rumped warbler due to the large yellow square at the base of the tail...but once I took a few shots and got home to look closer, I noticed a lot of white along the top of the head and just behind and below the eye. This made the ID a bit harder - but so far, consensus from others varied between cape may and yellow-rumped, with partial leucistic tendencies either way causing the white bits. Any additional help or confirmations on this odd little warbler?

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Comments

Toe
3 months ago

I may be going out on a limb, but looks like Cape May to me. Yellow on the lore and throat, and lack of yellow on the shoulder point more to Cape May that Myrtle.

Justin Miller
3 months ago

Thanks Toe. On another bird board, the majority seemed to lean towards yellow-rumped, but there were two fairly convincing posters noting cape may as a possibility...with similar reasons you mentioned.
The yellow-rumped group argued that the tail was too long for Cape May, the bill too thick, and that there appears to be a faint double wing bar making yellow-rumped more likely.
So far, I've got 4 yellow-rumped votes and 3 Cape May, including yours.

william ryan
3 months ago

i agree with your partial leutistic yelowrumped..note the hint of incomplete white around eyes..great pic to chaalenge everyone

Graham Langley
2 months ago

OK so I'm a British birder not a local but I'm with Toe. If the feathers are a problem look at the bird's structure.

A) structurally this looks too delicate for a Yellow Rumped to me -especially the bill which looks sharper.
B) The yellow wash on the breast is far more like a Cape May. Yellow rumps tend to have yellow on the flanks don't they?

But I might be wrong.

Graham Langley
2 months ago

Oh and if you are keeping a tally I think my vote should only count as half as I'm a visitor.

Jay Keller
2 months ago

Just noticed this thread. I saw this bird last week and got on it because I heard an obvious "Myrtle" Warbler calling. Needless to say I was surprised when I looked at it, but it is clearly at least partially Yellow-rumped due to the voice.

Jay Keller

Justin Miller
2 months ago

Indeed he's been sticking around all this time. I just spotted him again this past Sunday in the same area, so he's gone on 3 weeks essentially in the same spot and same stand of trees. I hadn't heard him call out though, so that's good information Jay.

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