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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

Blackpoll Warbler -- Dendroica striata

RANGE: Breeds from western and north-central Alaska throughout most of central Canada around the lower part of Hudson Bay to the Atlantic Coast, coincidental with boreal forests. Migrates south across the eastern United States and winters in South America.

STATUS: Common throughout the north-central boreal forests.

HABITAT: Inhabits northern coniferous forests, favoring stunted, young or medium-sized conifers, especially the upper canopy. Migrates primarily at night and is often attracted to bright lights. (Probably one of the most common species seen in migration, when large numbers are found in gardens and parks.)

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Northern coniferous forests. Requires conifers for nesting and prefers spruce.

NEST: Builds a generally bulky nest of a variety of twigs, bark, and sometimes moss and grass, lined usually with plant fiber, grass, hair, and rootlets. Often locates nest 2 to 7 feet above the ground, usually near the trunk of a tree, supported by horizontal branches, and quite well concealed.

FOOD: Primarily eats insects, gleaning adults and larvae from leaves and twigs, and catching insects in flight. Probes into galls and other protusions of trees and will also eat seeds and berries in the fall.

REFERENCES: Griscom and Sprunt 1979.

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