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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

Virginia's Warbler -- Vermivora virginiae

RANGE: Breeds from east-central California, central Nevada, southeastern Idaho, and southern Wyoming south to south-central California, central and southeastern Arizona, southern New Mexico, and extreme western Texas. Winters in Mexico.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Inhabits arid montane woodlands from 6,000 to 9,000 feet, preferring scrubby brush interspersed with pinyon-juniper and yellow pine. Frequents dense growths of low scrub oaks, mountain-mahogany, and chokecherry, rocky steep slopes and ravines, chaparral, riparian willow and alder thickets, and open spruce and fir forests near scrubby thickets.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Scrubby vegetation for nesting.

NEST: Builds nest on the ground, embedded among dead leaves or in loose soil, sometimes at the base of a bush, or hidden under a tussock of grass, but usually concealed by overhanging vegetation.

FOOD: Forages on the ground, as well as in foliage, and hawks insects on the wing.

REFERENCES: Bent 1953a, Griscom and Sprunt 1979, Terrill in Farrand 1983c, Van Tyne 1936.

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