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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Cerulean Warbler -- Dendroica cerula

RANGE: Breeds from southeastern Minnesota, southern Wisconsin, southern Michigan, Ontario, New York, and western New England south to northeastern Texas, southeastern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and central North Carolina. Winters in South America.

STATUS: Locally common.

HABITAT: Favors moist deciduous swamp and bottomland forests and shady, mature upland woods. Prefers rather open forests with tall trees and little undergrowth.


NEST: Usually builds nest 15 to 90 feet above ground in tall trees, well away from the trunk, on horizontal branches that are free from vegetation below. In some parts of the range, favors elm for nesting, but will nest in oaks, maples, basswood, and yellow-poplar.

FOOD: Eats mostly insects gleaned from leaves or caught in the air.

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

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