Image: Rick Wright [larger view].
Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.
Rick Wright, Managing Director of WINGS Birding Tours Worldwide, writes:
Yes, there’s a bird in there, and yes, it’s identifiable. As a great American poet once observed, all too rarely do the birds we see in the open look / like their pictures in the birdy-books; the views we typically get are of bits of birds, and the more experienced the birder, the fewer bits she needs to identify most species.
Most of this bird is concealed deep in a cluster of dead leaves — and right there we have enough to identify it with. There are very few dead-leaf specialists in North America, and the hindquarters of only one match what we see protruding from the dried foliage here. The tail is rather short, and the undertail coverts are coarsely marked with dusky terminal crescents. The belly is a dull warm olive, the upperparts the same color but darker and warmer. We can just see the wing to confirm the absence of a bright wingbar.
It’s worth learning the undertail patterns of all the wood warblers; Dunn and Garrett [A Field Guide to Warblers of North America (Peterson Field Guides by Jon Dunn and Kimball Garrett] have a fine series of plates with just that purpose in mind.Though we first detected this Worm-eating Warbler by its distinctive buzzy call note, the identification was confirmed by the undertail coverts; only then did it finally reveal the well-known striping of the head.
Review all mystery birds to date.