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Recent Sighting:

Chestnut-sided Warbler Dendroica pensylvanica

Order: Passeriformes — Family: Parulidae

Identification

With plumage that is marked with subtle and delicate colors, the Chestnut-sided Warbler is arguably the most beautiful of its family. The sexes are similarly patterned, clean white below with characteristic chestnut sides, dark above with white streaks and with a distinctive head pattern which includes a yellow crown and a tapering black moustache. The head pattern is duller on the female and she has a shorter chestnut streak along her sides. The immature is lime green above, white below, has a white eye ring, yellowish wing bars and lacks the chestnut sides.

Voice

Its primary song is a whistled ‘very-very-pleased-to meetcha’, with a strong accent on the next to last syllable.

Length

5in

Migration

Migrates across the Gulf of Mexico, winters in Central America. Spring movement is from early April to mid-May, fall movement is in September and October.

Habitat

Dense thickets and brambles.

Food

Mainly insects and spiders, but also some berries

Population trends

Has profited from the clearing of eastern forests and the neglect of fields that are no longer farmed. Its preferred habitat of bushes, vines and brambles has continued to increase and it has proliferated. One of our most common eastern warblers.

Where in US

Breeds in the northeastern United States and in the Appalachians. Winters in Central America.

Nests

Nests from 1-3 feet above the ground in a bush, thicket, vine cluster or sapling. The nest is located in the deciduous undergrowth of open woodlands, wood edges, roadsides and overgrown pastures. It consists of a cup of grasses, weed stems, plant down, rootlets and grapevine bark, lined with fine grasses and hair.

Eggs

Usually 4 eggs, sometimes 3 or 5. These are white to pale greenish, marked with spots, specks and splotches of brown, gray and purple, usually concentrated around the larger end. Possibly double-brooded.

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