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Recent Sighting:

Blue-winged Warbler Vermivora pinus

Order: Passeriformes — Family: Parulidae

Identification

A distinctive bright yellow bird. The male has a black eye line, blue-gray wings with two white wing bars and whitish-yellow undertail coverts. The female is similar, but is a duller version of the male. Its color pattern is similar to that of the Prothonotary Warbler, but it is easily separated by its white wing bars and black eye line. The Blue-winged Warbler, and its close relative the Golden-winged Warbler, overlap in the breeding area and the two species often interbreed, resulting in hybrid offspring that have a color pattern that combines some features of each of the parent birds.

Voice

Its insect-like ‘beee-buzzz’ can be heard as it forages in the dense tangles of its habitat.

Length

4.75in

Migration

Migrates across the Gulf of Mexico. Winters in Mexico and Central America. Migration is primarily via the Mississippi Valley. Spring migration is in late March and April, whilst fall migration begins in mid-August and continues to mid-October.

Habitat

Found in overgrown pastures, brushy hillsides, abandoned fields and woodland edges with heavy undergrowth.

Food

Insects and spiders.

Population trends

The population is stable and probably growing. Is encroaching on the Golden-winged Warbler's territory and is replacing it in areas where it has declined.

Where in US

Breeds in the northeastern United States and in the Appalachian Mountains. Winters in Mexico and Central America.

Nests

The nest is a cup made of coarse grasses, leaves and vine bark strips, lined with finer grasses, plant fibers or hair. The nest is on the ground, concealed in grasses, ferns or brambles, or is slightly above the ground in a weed or grass tuft. Pairs often nest close to one another in a loose colony.

Eggs

Usually 5, but as few as 4, or as many as 7. They are white, with a fine speckling of brown and gray that is often concentrated at the larger end. Probably single-brooded.

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