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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

MacGillivray's Warbler -- Oporornis tolmiei

RANGE: Breeds from southeastern Alaska, southwestern Yukon, northern British Columbia, southern Alberta, northwestern Saskatchewan, and southwestern South Dakota south, primarily in the mountains, to southern California, central Arizona, and southern New Mexico. Winters from northern Mexico to Panama.

STATUS: Common to uncommon.

HABITAT: Prefers early successional stages of cutover or burned woodlands or low shrubby habitats. Also inhabits low vegetation such as blackberry, salmonberry, cherry, currant, serviceberry, snowberry, poison oak, ninebark, spirea, and riparian willow and alder.


NEST: Prefers dense, moist, brushy habitat, or areas with tall weeds or ferns for nesting. Builds nest 2 to 5 feet above the ground, attached to several stalks of plants.

FOOD: Forages close to the ground in dense thickets, where it gleans insects from the vegetation. (No comprehensive food studies have been made.)

REFERENCES: DeSante in Farrand 1983c, Griscom and Sprunt 1979, Terres 1980.

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