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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

Wilson's Warbler -- Wilsonia pusilla

RANGE: Breeds from northern Alaska, northern Yukon, northern Ontario southeastern Labrador, and Newfoundland south to southern California, central Nevada, northern Utah, northern New Mexico, central Ontario, northern New England, and Nova Scotia. Winters from southern California and southern Texas to Panama.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Prefers wet clearings in early stages of regeneration. Also inhabits peat or laurel bogs with scattered young or dwarf spruces and tamaracks, and riparian willow and alder thickets.


NEST: Generally nests on the ground, sometimes in loose colonies. Usually builds nest at the base of a small tree or shrub, often well concealed in a grass hummock. Occasionally, places nest above the ground in low, dense tangles of vegetation.

FOOD: Mostly eats insects (about 93 percent of diet) gleaned from the ground and twigs or caught by flycatching. Also eats some spiders and fruit pulp.

REFERENCES: Beal 1907, Bent 1953b, Griscom and Sprunt 1979, Petersen in Farrand 1983c, Stewart 1973.

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