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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

Nashville Warbler -- Vermivora ruficapilla

RANGE: Breeds from southern interior British Columbia and northwestern Montana south to northwestern and south-central California and extreme west-central Nevada; and from central Saskatchewan to southern Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, south to southern Manitoba, southern Wisconsin, southern Michigan, northern New Jersey, and Rhode Island. Winters from southern Texas south to Mexico and Central America, rarely in California and southern Florida.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Prefers brushy sphagnum bogs and open second-growth woodlands. Also occurs in regenerating areas that have been burned or cut, overgrown pastures and fields, woodland edges, and in swales, slashings, and undergrowth of mixed forests, especially those with aspen or birch. Also found in woodlands, but generally on poor sites.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Scattered trees interspersed with brush.

NEST: Conceals nest on the ground in a small depression, sometimes in a sphagnum hummock, often with an overhead cover of ferns or other overhanging vegetation.

FOOD: Forages from the ground to the treetops, gleaning food (chiefly insects) from the trunk, leaves, and branches, and hawking flying insects.

REFERENCES: DeGraff et al. 1980, Griscom and Sprunt 1979, Johnsgard 1979, Lawrence 1948, Petersen in Farrand 1983c.

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