Wednesday, March 29, 2006

100 Years Ago in West Virginia Ornithological History

Concluding a series of articles initiated in 1903 that summarized what was then known about the timing of warbler migration in North America, W. W. Cook provided migration dates for five species of warblers in West Virginia, bringing to 17 the number of species for which such information was provided from the State. The information summarized by Wells was gathered by a network of volunteer observers operating under direction of the U.S. Biological Survey in the 1890s. Observations from French Creek (Upshur County) are from Earle A. Brooks, while those from White Sulphur Springs (Greenbrier County) are from Thaddeus Surber. The species are listed in chronological order by date of arrival:

Louisiana Waterthrush. Average spring arrival date of April 3 (earliest March 27 [1890], n = 4) and latest fall departure date of October 7 1890 at French Creek [Source: 1906b].

Black-throated Green Warbler. Average spring arrival date of April 16 (earliest April 10 [1893], n = 4) at French Creek [1904b].

Hooded Warbler. Average spring arrival date of April 17 (earliest April 8 [1891], n = 7) for West Virginia (locality not specified) and latest fall departure date of September 29 [1892] at French Creek [1904a].

Blackburnian Warbler. Average spring arrival dates of April 22 (earliest April 17) at White Sulphur Springs, and April 28 (earliest April 23) at French Creek [1903].

Northern Parula. Average spring arrival date of April 22 (earliest April 19 [1893], n = 4) at French Creek [1906c].

Ovenbird. Average spring arrival date of April 24 (earliest April 19 [1891], n = 5) at French Creek [1906b].

Nashville Warbler. Average spring arrival date of April 28 (earliest April 23 [1891], n = 4) and latest fall departure date of September 7 [1890] at French Creek [1905b].

Worm-eating Warbler. Average spring arrival date of April 28 (earliest April 27 [1890], n = 3) at White Suphur Springs [1906a]

Black-throated Blue Warbler. Average spring arrival date of April 29 (earliest April 18 [1889], n = 4] and average fall departure date of October 9 (latest October 15 [1890], n = 5) at French Creek [1906d].

Yellow-breasted Chat. Average spring arrival dates of May 1 (earliest April 26 [1893], n = 5) at French Creek and May 2 (earliest April 29 [1897], n = 5) at White Sulphur Springs [1904a].

Golden-winged Warbler. Average spring arrival date of May 2 (earliest April 30 [1893], n = 4) and latest fall departure date of September 15 [1892] at French Creek [1904c].

Chestnut-sided Warbler. Average spring arrival date of May 2 (earliest April 30 [1890], n = 5) at French Creek [1904d] and late fall date of September 6 [1892], also at French Creek [1904d].

Canada Warbler. Average spring arrival date of May 9 (earliest May 4 [1893], n = 4) at French Creek [1904b].

Wilson’s Warbler. Average spring arrival date of May 10 (earliest May 9 [1893], n = 2) at French Creek [1904b].

Black-and-white Warbler. Average spring arrival date of April 13 (earliest April 6 [1892], n = 5) at French Creek [1905a].

Cape May Warbler. Latest fall departure date of October 21 [1891] at French Creek [1905c].

Blue-winged Warbler. Latest fall departure date of October 10 [1891] at French Creek [1904e].

Sources:
1903: Bird-Lore 5:188-193.
1904: (a) Bird-Lore 6:21-24, (b) 57-60, (c) 91-92, (d) 162-163, and (e), U.S. Department of Agriculture Biological Survey Bulletin 18, 142 pp.
1905: (a) Bird-Lore 7:203-206, (b) 237-239, and (c), 275-278.
1906: (a) Bird-Lore 8:26-27, (b) 100-102, (c) 168-169, and (d) 203-204

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