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Recent Sighting:

Northern Parula Parula americana

Order: Passeriformes — Family: Parulidae

Identification

A beautiful, multi-colored warbler. Gray-blue above, with a greenish back, bright yellow underparts and two white wing bars all make it quite unmistakable. The male and female are similarly patterned apart from the orange-brown band across the chest of the male which is indistinct or totally lacking in females and immatures. The similar Tropical Parula lacks the white eye ring and has a dark face mask.

Voice

It would usually go undetected if not for its buzzy, ascending ‘zeeeeeeeep’, that sounds as if someone has run a finger down the teeth of a comb.

Length

4.5in

Migration

Migrates across the Gulf of Mexico. Winters from South Florida and south Texas to the West Indies and Central America. Spring movement begins in early March and is mostly completed by late April. Fall migration is from mid-September to mid-October.

Habitat

Found primarily in swamps, around lake edges and along wooded streams.

Food

Almost entirely insects, with a few berries.

Population trends

A stable population.

Where in US

Widespread in the eastern United States and Canada. Winters from South Florida and south Texas to the West Indies and Central America.

Nests

The nest is usually constructed in hanging Spanish moss in the south, and in hanging beard moss in the north. It is a cup, built into the hanging moss, made of grass and bark strips, lined with rootlets and plant down. When beard or Spanish moss is unavailable the nest is often constructed in debris left hanging in branches by floodwaters.

Eggs

Usually 4-5 eggs, but as few as 3, or as many as 7. White in color, they are spotted and speckled with reddish-brown, gray and purple, the markings often primarily on the larger end. Probably single-brooded.

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