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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

Chestnut-sided Warbler -- Dendroica pensylvanica

RANGE: Breeds from east-central Alberta and central Saskatchewan to southern Quebec and New Brunswick south to eastern Colorado, Iowa, central Ohio, and Massachusetts; in the Appalachians south to north-central Georgia and northwestern South Carolina. Winters from Mexico to Panama, casually to South America.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Inhabits rather open and dry areas having some woody vegetation in the form of shrubs and small trees, preferring the brushy regrowth of clear-cut forests and abandoned pastures and fields. Also frequents second-growth woodland edges and clearings, low shrubbery, briar thickets, brushy hillsides and brooksides, and roadside thickets.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Early second-growth moist woodlands with dense vegetation about 3 feet above the ground to provide nest sites and foraging areas.

NEST: Conceals nest from 1 to 4 feet above the ground in briar thickets, bushes, saplings, or vines, such as spirea, raspberry, red-osier dogwood, azalea, laurel, gooseberry, meadow-rue, and hazel.

FOOD: Consumes insects and spiders gleaned from the foliage of shrubs and other low plants, or caught by flycatching. Occasionally eats a few seeds and berries.

REFERENCES: Cripps 1966, Griscom and Sprunt 1979, Lawrence 1948, Tate 1970, Terres 1980, Vickery in Farrand 1983c.

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