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#ABArare – Golden-crowned Warbler – Colorado

It’s been a while since this one was initially discovered but as the bird is amazingly still present (at least as of 5/21) it’s overdue for a write-up. On May 15, Glen Walbek found an ABA Code 4 Golden-crowned Warbler in eastern Colorado, near the border of Kit Carson and Cheyenne counties. This is a 1st record for the state and a significant distance from the previous farthest north record in North America.

The bird has been present for a week about 2.5 hours southeast of Denver, at Mitchek Ranch, about a mile south of the Kit Carson and Cheyenne county line in the latter. Off of I-70, take Exit 395 south to Rt 5, then 22 miles to take a left on G, then right on Rt 6 to GG, then left to Rt 9 and make a right. The people living at the site are not the property owners, but the bird has been seen reliably from the road. 

Golden-crowned Warbler has occurred in the ABA Area on several occasions, most recently in 2017. All records save one are from south Texas with the remaining one from New Mexico (2004).

The species is one of the Basileuterus warblers, a genus of robust, skulky, warblers of the neotropics. The only other representatives of the genus to be recorded in the ABA Area are Rufous-crowned Warbler, which has bred regularly, but locally, in Texas and Arizona in recent years, and Fan-tailed Warbler, a more infrequent visitor north of Mexico. Golden-crowned Warbler consists of 13 subspecies (and possibly 3 species) that range from northern Mexico and Uruguay.  Birds in the ABA Area are of the northernmost culicivorus group, often called “stripe-crowned warbler”, found throughout Middle America.

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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Editor, Social Media Manager at American Birding Association
Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog, social media manager for the ABA, and the host of the American Birding Podcast. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children. He is the author of Birding for the Curious and The ABA Field Guide to Birds of the Carolinas.
Nate Swick

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