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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Worm-eating Warbler -- Helmitheros vermivorus


RANGE: Breeds from southeastern Nebraska, southeastern Iowa to southern and east-central Ohio and Massachusetts, south to southeastern Oklahoma and northeastern Texas to northern Florida. Winters in the West Indies, Mexico, and Central America.

STATUS: Locally common to rare.

HABITAT: Inhabits wooded hillsides and ravines with medium-sized stands of deciduous trees and undergrowth, often near streams or swampy bogs rimmed by shrubs and vines.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Dense undergrowth.

NEST: Builds nest on the ground at the base of a tree or sapling, usually well concealed under dead leaves. Generally locates nest on a hillside or bank of a ravine, but sometimes in a bank cavity or under shrubbery.

FOOD: Gleans its food from the ground; mostly eats insects but some spiders and a few worms.

REFERENCES: DeGraff et al. 1980, Griscom and Sprunt 1979.


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