Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Wilson's Warbler

Continuing to share my warbler photos along with information about each species, from my latest book: "Warblers of Arizona, A Guide to Finding and Photographing Warblers in Southern Arizona." 

If you are interested in purchasing it, please email me at exclusivelywildlifephotos.com or info@azuregate.com.

Wilson's Warbler

Common Name: Wilson’s Warbler
Scientific Name: Cardellina pusillae
Conservation Status: Least Concern, though 61% decline over the past 50 years, population estimate at 60 million
Size: 4.75 inches

Description: yellow head and face with variable black crown; faint olive cheek; black eye stands out; white eyering; very small bill that is black on top and yellowish/white below; olive back and dull to bright yellow throat, breast, and belly; no wing bars; long dark tail; pink legs
Male/Female: less or duller yellow with less or no black crown; head more olive than yellow
Range: throughout North and Central America; more common in the Western United States than Eastern
Migration: summers in Canada, winters in Mexico and Central America; migrates through the United States
Season for Arizona: April/May and August/September; occasional sightings at other times
Habitat: willow and alder thickets near water
Community Behavior: solitary or with mixed warbler/titmouse flocks; males will defend nesting and foraging territories from other Wilson’s Warblers by dropping their wings and cocking their tails upward while giving harsh calls
Feeding Behavior: gleans insects among foliage and twigs; will also sally to take flies or bees; most of their foraging is in dense willows, alders, or other shrubs usually less than 15 feet off the ground; will also eat honeydew excretions from scale insects
Diet: larval insects, spiders, beetles, and caterpillars
Nesting Behavior: on ground hidden amongst dead leaves and tufts of grass usually beneath shrubs, young trees, or fallen logs; nests are cup shaped and constructed of leaves, moss, grass, bark, and roots; takes the female 5 days to build her nest; 2-7 white eggs with reddish brown spots; incubation period is 10-13 days; and nestling period is 9-11 days; fledglings may return to the nest for one or two days after fledging
Where to Find in Southern Arizona: throughout lower level mountain ranges near water
Comments: tend to be brighter in color in the West than in the East; first described by Alexander Wilson in 1811 who called it the “green black-capt flycatcher”

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