Warbler Guy, which warbler species are the initial ones that return to the San Francisco Bay in spring? Are migrating warblers returning now?

Warbler Guy, which warbler species are the initial ones that return to the San Francisco Bay in spring? Are migrating warblers returning now?

Haley, those are excellent questions.

The short answer is Orange-crowned Warbler is the typical, initial wood-warbler species to appear annually by February as a true, returning migrant among the nine SF Bay Area counties.

The true, arriving migrants that settle to nest here may join a small number that appear to “over-winter” in the SF Bay Area. (It’s also possible the “over-wintering” individuals leave during spring and seek other breeding ground territory.

Next on the landscape as arriving migrant wood-warblers here: Common Yellowthroat and Wilson’s Warbler appear by no later than later March (or, if late, early April) annually. Soon after, the initial Black-throated Gray and Hermit Warbler nesters arrive. (Note the latter four noted above sometimes, also, are detected as “over-wintering” individuals, especially during Christmas Bird Count surveys that occur throughout the holiday season period of late December – early January, annually, in the SF Bay Area.

A good source for noting the “Arrival Times” of northern CA wood-warbler species: Go to the pulldown menu at my web site (WarblerWatch.com) and choose “Bird Arrival Times” at the “Birding Links” pulldown menu option at the top of the home page for WarblerWatch.com

Regards and happy birding, Daniel Edelstein


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About InFact

1) Consulting Biologist (and Certified Wildlife Biologist Asc.) — Conducting wildlife and plant surveys for common and special-status species, with federal permits for Ridgway's Rail (formerly CA Clapper Rail), California Tiger Salamander, and California Red-legged Frog, in addition to California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) general scientific permit, and CDFW general plant permit. Secure permits for clients who must comply with local, state, and federal regulatory measures. Since 1998, author of more than 100 Initial Studies, Biological Assessments, EIR "Biological Resource" chapters, habitat alteration plans, and planting plans. 2) Adjunct faculty at Merritt College, teaching all its bird classes to adults (see warblerwatch.com and its "College Classes & Slide Shows" area to note some of my birding class theme options). 3) Birding Guide — Birding Guide in Marin County, Birding Guide in Sonoma County, San Francisco birding guide, and California birding guide. (See warblerwatch.com and click on "Birding Tours" tab.)

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