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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

Bachman's Warbler -- Vermivora bachmanii

RANGE: Formerly bred in northeastern Arkansas, southeastern Missouri, south-central Kentucky, central Alabama, and southeastern South Carolina. May still breed in South Carolina. Winters in Cuba and the Isle of Pines.

STATUS: Rarest songbird in North America; endangered, possibly extinct. Reasons for its decline are not clear.

HABITAT: Inhabits low, moist, deciduous woodlands and swamps of the southern coastal plain, where it probably occurred primarily in sweet bay-swamp tupelo-red maple associations of headwater swamps, sweet gum-willow oak associations of wet flats, and in bottomland hardwoods. Appeared to use forest bottomlands and headwater swamps that were inundated with water for relatively short periods of time.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Mature deciduous swamp forests.

NEST: Locates nest in canebreaks and thickets 2 to 5 feet above the ground in and along the margins of low, wet forested habitats. (Little is known about its nesting habits.)

FOOD: Forages in dense foliage high up in trees for spiders and insects. (Little is known about feeding habits.)

REFERENCES: Griscom and Sprunt 1979, Hooper and Hamel 1977, Mackenzie 1977, Meanley and Mitchell 1958, Sykes in Farrand 1983c.

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