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Number of species: 72

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Cape May Warbler - Setophaga tigrina

While there can be a fair amount of individual variation in Cape May Warbler plumage, age and sex can usually be determined, especially if multiple criteria are available for examination.

 

Quick Tips:

  • Examine the cheeks - ASY males have a bold chestnut patch, while AHY males and SY males have a moderate chestnut patch; all others (including HY males) have grayish cheeks
  • Check the wing for a molt limit on HY/SY individuals between dull brown primary coverts and darker fresher greater coverts; AHY/ASY birds have a more uniform wing, with yellowish edging on both the primary and greater coverts
  • Consider the tail - on HY/SY birds the rectrices are typically relatively narrow and pointed, while on AHY/ASY birds they tend to be broader and more rounded; HY/SY females tend to have smaller white patches, but other age/sex classes show considerable overlap

Species account prepared by McGill Bird Observatory

Click on any image below to bring up the side-by-side comparison tool.
Age / Sex  Image sets 
Hatch year / Male
Grayish cheeks; relatively fine black streaking on crown and bold yellow underparts; bold white wing bar; contrast between retained primary coverts and darker replaced greater coverts; rectrices relatively narrow and tapered
Thumbnail - MG2-9900-00002-Setophaga_tigrina_AOU_7_52-2358.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-9900-00002-Setophaga_tigrina_AOU_7_52-2356.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-9900-00002-Setophaga_tigrina_AOU_7_52-2357.jpg
Date: Aug 11
Hatch year / Female
Grayish cheeks; little to no streaking on crown and weak gray streaking on off-white underparts; thin white wing bar; contrast between retained primary coverts and darker replaced greater coverts; rectrices relatively narrow and tapered
Thumbnail - MG2-1840-76975-Setophaga_tigrina_AOU_7_52-2355.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-1840-76975-Setophaga_tigrina_AOU_7_52-2353.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-1840-76975-Setophaga_tigrina_AOU_7_52-2354.jpg
Date: Aug 15
After hatch year / Female
Grayish cheeks; minimal streaking on crown and fine dark streaks on yellowish underparts; moderate white wing bar; no molt limit between greater and primary coverts; rectrices relatively broad and rounded
Thumbnail - MG2-2650-43524-Setophaga_tigrina_AOU_7_52-2349.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2650-43524-Setophaga_tigrina_AOU_7_52-2347.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2650-43524-Setophaga_tigrina_AOU_7_52-2348.jpg
Date: Jul 11
Second year / Male
Moderate chestnut patch on cheeks; relatively fine black streaking on crown and bold yellow underparts; primary coverts pale and worn compared to greater coverts; rectrices relatively tapered and worn
Thumbnail - MG2-2650-41161-Setophaga_tigrina_AOU_7_52-2370.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2650-41161-Setophaga_tigrina_AOU_7_52-2368.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2650-41161-Setophaga_tigrina_AOU_7_52-2369.jpg
Date: May 9
Second year / Female
Grayish cheeks; relatively fine dark gray streaking on crown and off-white underparts; primary coverts pale and worn compared to greater coverts; rectrices relatively tapered and worn
Thumbnail - MG2-2600-16531-Setophaga_tigrina_AOU_7_52-2364.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2600-16531-Setophaga_tigrina_AOU_7_52-2362.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2600-16531-Setophaga_tigrina_AOU_7_52-2363.jpg
Date: May 2
After second year / Male
Bold chestnut patch on cheeks; heavy black streaking on crown and bold yellow underparts; no molt limit between greater and primary coverts; rectrices relatively broad and rounded
Thumbnail - MG2-2650-41162-Setophaga_tigrina_AOU_7_52-2373.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2650-41162-Setophaga_tigrina_AOU_7_52-2371.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2650-41162-Setophaga_tigrina_AOU_7_52-2372.jpg
Date: May 9

Additional age / sex class descriptions

The following additional age / sex class descriptions were found for this species:
Age / Sex   Age / Sex class description
After second year / Female Grayish cheeks; thin dark streaks on crown and yellowish underparts; no molt limit between greater and primary coverts; rectrices relatively broad and rounded
After hatch year / Male Weak chestnut patch on cheeks; relatively fine black streaking on crown and bold yellow underparts; bold white wing bar; no molt limit between greater and primary coverts; rectrices relatively broad and rounded
Juvenile / Unknown Olive-brown above and gray-beige below, lightly streaked; buff wing bars
Number of species: 72

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