[CT Birds] Fairfield Parula

Alex Burdo aburdo10 at gmail.com
Sat Jun 16 15:41:03 EDT 2012

Hi All,

Between 3:10 and 3:15 this afternoon, I could've sworn I heard the
alternate song of a Northern Parula multiple times from my backyard. It's a
vocalization I hear pretty much daily during the month of May, and thus was
a sound I recognized immediately. I judged from the sound that it was
likely in the tall trees in the Sherman area, perhaps 75 yards away.
Immediately upon hearing the vocalization, I thought about the possibility
of it being a Northern Mockingbird, as there was one singing at the time.
However, that hypothesis went out the window when I heard both birds
singing at the exact same moment. Plus, although I realize Northern
Mockingbirds are capable of an incredible array of vocalizations, are they
really able to mimic a song as complex as that of a Parula?

So, could this be a legitimate Northern Parula? If so, what in the world is
a Northern Parula doing in residential Fairfield this late into June? I
understand the individuals of some species that are not sexually mature
(i.e. ducks, shorebirds, and terns), will summer south of their breeding
range, sometimes quite a bit so. However, I've never heard of this
happening with Wood-Warblers, or with passerines for that matter. As with
the Great Crested Flycatcher at Ash Creek on Tuesday, this individual
remains a total mystery to me. Could it be a VERY late migrant? Perhaps a
bird that bred well to our south and is now wandering around post-breeding?
Maybe a failed breeder from our north (although it seems a bit too early)?

I'd be very interested in hearing any thoughts people might have.

Alex Burdo

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