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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Black-throated Blue Warbler -- Dendroica caerulescens

RANGE: Breeds from western and central Ontario to New Brunswick south to northeastern Minnesota, central Michigan, northeastern Pennsylvania, and southern New England, and in the Appalachians to northeastern Georgia and northwestern South Carolina. Winters primarily from southern Florida to the West Indies, casually in Central and South America.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Prefers northern hardwood forests with an ample undergrowth of saplings and evergreen or deciduous shrubs. Also inhabits mature coniferous-deciduous forests, especially those with an undergrowth of creeping yew, laurel, hazel, maple, or brushy saplings. In the southern Appalachians, often inhabits dense mountain-laurel thickets.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Woodlands with shrubby undergrowth.

NEST: Constructs well-concealed nest near the ground, generally not higher than 3 feet above ground, in fallen tree tops, small trees, or shrubs. Partial to nesting in rhododendron, laurel, hemlock, small spruce, fir, and maple.

FOOD: Forages in the shrub, subcanopy, and lower canopy layers of forests, gleaning insects from foliage and branches. Mostly consumes insects but occasionally eats seeds and berries.

REFERENCES: Bent 1953a, DeGraff et al. 1980, Griscom and Sprunt 1979, Harding 1931, Johnsgard 1979, Petersen in Farrand 1983c.

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