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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

Blue-winged Warbler -- Vermivora pinus

RANGE: Breeds from eastern Nebraska and southeastern Minnesota east to southern Vermont and southern Maine, and south to northwestern Arkansas, northern Alabama, northern Georgia, western South Carolina, and Delaware. Winters in Mexico south to Central America.

STATUS: Uncommon.

HABITAT: Inhabits rank growth near the borders of swamps or streams, woodland edges, brushy overgrown fields and pastures, thickets, and second-growth woods. Prefers old fields with saplings greater than 10 feet tall. Prefers more moist habitats than the golden-winged warbler, a closely related species with which it competes and, in some areas, hybridizes.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Brushy habitats near water.

NEST: Builds nests on the ground, attached to upright stems of weeds or grass clumps. Usually nests in loose aggregations or colonies among bushes, ferns, tangles of vines, or grasses.

FOOD: Gleans insects and spiders from leaves, twigs, and buds among branches near the tops of trees.

REFERENCES: Confer and Knapp 1981, DeGraff et al. 1980, Griscom and Sprunt 1979, Harrison 1975, Johnsgard 1979, Robbins et al. 1983.

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