Cerulean Warbler

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image: ceruleanwarbler.jpg

Common Name: Cerulean Warbler
Scientific Name: Dendroica cerulea

Size: 4 inches (11 cm)

Habitat: The Americas. Summer Range: Breeds locally from central Minnesota to central New York, southward to Arkansas and North Carolina. Winter Range: Mountains of northern South America. Found in tall deciduous trees and open understory, such as wet bottomlands and dry slopes.

Status: Vulnerable. Global Population: 560,000 mature individuals and declining. Formerly one of the most abundant breeding warblers in Ohio and the Mississippi River Valleys, its population plummeted in the 1900's. Cerulean Warbler is one of the species of highest concern in the eastern United States because of a small total population size and significant declines throughout its range. The main threat is from habitat degradation and forest fragmentation as the human population increases and land uses change. Breeding habitat is degraded when mature deciduous forests, especially riparian forests, are lost and remaining forests are fragmented and isolated Also, less deciduous forests reach maturity because of shorter rotation periods and even-aged management and key tree species are lost because of disease. Winter habitat is being destroyed for the production of coffee beans and coca as the demand for coffee and illegal cocaine-based drugs grows.

Diet: Insects; some seed and plant material in winter.

Nesting: 3-4 gray to greenish-white eggs are laid. Nests are an open cup shape of bark fibers, grass stems, and hair bound together with spider web, placed on a lateral limb of a deciduous tree in mid to upper canopy. Usually concealed from above by leaves or twigs on the nest branch.

Cool Facts: The female Cerulean Warbler has an unusual way of leaving a nest after sitting on it a while. Some people call it "bungee-jumping." She drops from the side of the nest, keeping her wings folded to her sides, and opens her wings to fly only when she is well below the nest.

It nests and forages higher in the canopy than most other warblers. When re-nesting after a failed first nest, the female often uses spider web from the old nest to start construction on the new nest. Fresh lining is gathered for the new nest, but spider web may be too valuable and time-consuming to waste.

On the wintering grounds in South America the Cerulean Warbler usually is found in mixed-species foraging flocks, associating with tropical tanagers and other resident species.

Found in Songbird ReMix Threatened Endangered Extinct 2

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