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Birds of the St. Croix River Valley: Minnesota and Wisconsin

FAMILY PARULIDAE

Wood Warblers


Black-and-white Warbler -- Prothonotary Warbler -- Worm-eating Warbler -- Golden-winged Warbler -- Blue-winged Warbler -- Tennessee Warbler -- Orange-crowned Warbler -- Nashville Warbler -- Northern Parula -- Yellow Warbler -- Magnolia Warbler -- Cape May Warbler -- Black-throated Blue Warbler -- Yellow-rumped Warbler -- Black-throated Green Warbler -- Cerulean Warbler -- Blackburnian Warbler -- Chesnut-sided Warbler -- Bay-breasted Warbler -- Blackpoll Warbler -- Pine Warbler -- Palm Warbler -- Ovenbird -- Northern Waterthrush -- Louisiana Waterthrush -- Kentucky Warbler -- Connecticut Warbler -- Mourning Warbler -- Common Yellowthroat -- Yellow-breasted Chat -- Hooded Warbler -- Wilson's Warbler -- Canada Warbler -- American Redstart

Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)

Status: Regular migrant and nesting species.

Migration: Fairly common migrant throughout the Valley. Jackson (1943) reported that the black-and-white warbler was "the most abundant of warblers" during the 1919 spring migration in Polk and Burnett counties. Earliest spring migrants arrive in the Western Upland during the last 5 days of April, reaching the Northern Highland 1-5 May. Peak migration occurs 10-20 May, and nonbreeders depart by 25 May. Fall migration begins in mid-August and birds reach the Western Upland 20-25 August. Peak fall migration occurs 10-20 September, and most have departed by 5 October.

Nesting Season Distribution: Uncommon and local nesting species, most frequently encountered in the Northern Highland. Green and Janssen (1975) indicated the breeding range of this warbler extended into northern Washington County. My Minnesota breeding season records have been obtained only in southern Pine County. Confirmed nesting records exist only for Polk County (12 June 1975). Breeding Bird Survey data (Table 6) suggest a rapid increase in relative abundance moving northeast through the Valley. The 12-year mean number of males recorded on Dresser BBS is < 0.1, increasing to 1.3 on the Loraine BBS, and 6.9 on Minong.

Habitat: Territorial males have been recorded in both deciduous and coniferous habitats during the breeding season. In deciduous areas, a preference is shown for mature Northern Deciduous Forest, characterized by extensive stands of maple and basswood. This species apparently prefers Northern Coniferous Forest, Black Spruce-Tamarack Bog, and white cedar communities.


Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea)

Status: Regular migrant and nesting species.

Migration: Rare migrant in the Western Upland; one record from the Central Plain (7 May 1966, Chisago County). Observations of this warbler are insufficient to determine patterns of spring and fall migration. Most records appear to be birds on or near potential nesting territories. Spring migrants are usually first recorded 10-15 May (earliest-4 May 1974, Pierce County). Records of fall migrants are even more irregular; the latest is 10 September 1975 (St. Croix County). Most observations of this bird during migration periods have been restricted to areas along and adjacent to the St. Croix River in Pierce, St. Croix, and Washington counties.

Nesting Season Distribution: Very rare nesting species, apparently restricted to the Western Upland. Maurer (1970) briefly described the observation of a nest near Marine-on-St. Croix (Washington County) containing one young on 5 July 1970. On 10 July 1945, 11 male prothonotary warblers were found on territory between Marine-on-St. Croix and Stillwater, and three females were observed feeding near nests (Hubert 1945). On 28 June 1945, a single male was observed along the St. Croix River near Osceola, Polk County. Observations of territorial males along the lower reaches of the Kinnickinnic, Willow, and Apple rivers provide evidence of possible additional breeding records.

Habitat: The prothonotary warbler is restricted almost entirely to large stands of mature Lowland Deciduous Forest dominated by cottonwood, green ash, and American elm. The brief description of the habitat near the nest Maurer observed suggests a mixture of willow and basswood.


Worm-eating Warbler (Helmitheros vermivorus)

Status: Casual, three spring records.

Records: S. D. Robbins heard and saw one male along Trout Brook Road near Hudson, St. Croix County, on 18 May 1969 (Faanes and Goddard 1976). Maurer (1969) described the observation of a worm-eating warbler in Washington County on 18 May 1969. I observed one near Trout Brook Road in St. Croix County on 18 May 1980. This species has been recorded with increasing frequency in central Minnesota and southern Wisconsin and may become more regular in the lower reaches of the Valley.


Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera)

Status: Regular migrant and nesting species.

Migration: Uncommon migrant throughout the Valley. Spring migrants arrive in the Western Upland 5- l0 May, and reach the Northern Highland about 15 May. Jackson (1943) reported that golden-winged warblers were "common" along the St. Croix River near St. Croix Falls from 21-25 May 1919. One pair was observed copulating on 22 May 1919. This warbler apparently migrates singly, or in small very loose flocks; thus periods of peak spring abundance are difficult to determine. Spring migrants have departed nonbreeding areas in the Western Upland by 30 May. Fall migrants reach the Western Upland about 10 August. Peak fall movements occur 20 August to 5 September. Departure from the Northern Highland occurs by 5 September and elsewhere by 15 September.

Nesting Season Distribution: Uncommon and local breeding bird in the Central Plain and Northern Highland. One nest record from the Western Upland (12 June 1976; River Falls, St. Croix County). Confirmed breeding records exist for St. Croix and Polk counties. Green and Janssen (1975) cited inferred breeding records for Chisago and Pine counties, although the golden-winged warbler was referred to as "quite numerous" in Pine County during the nesting season. One was reported from Washington County on 5 July 1970 (Russell 1970). Breeding Bird Survey data (Table 6) suggest that the center of their breeding range is in the Central Plain.

Habitat: Golden-winged warblers appear to be characteristic of second-growth deciduous forest in early developmental stages. Data from nearby Barron County (Wisconsin) show that largest densities occur in Deciduous Clear Cuts that are less than 10 years old (9 pairs per 40 ha). This density decreases to < 0.1 pair per 40 ha in mature aspen-maple woods over 40 years old. Breeding golden-winged warblers also use brushy edges of retired agricultural fields, openings in spruce woods, and occasionally Black Spruce-Tamarack Bogs. Golden-winged warblers apparently avoid jack pine habitat; this warbler has yet to be recorded along the Union BBS route (Burnett County) which traverses extensive stands of jack pine forest.


Blue-winged Warbler (Vermivora pinus)

Status: Regular migrant and nesting species.

Migration: Rare migrant in the Western Upland, virtually absent elsewhere. Most observations consist of birds on or near presumed breeding territories. Spring migrants arrive 15-20 May, becoming most conspicuous 25 May to 5 June. One spring record exists for Burnett County, 20 May 1956 (Southern 1960). Breeding birds disperse early from the breeding areas. The latest fall date is 15 September 1975 (St. Croix County).

Nesting Season Distribution: Rare and local breeding bird in the Western Upland. Green and Janssen (1975) provided the only evidence of confirmed breeding for the Valley (Washington County). Breeding season birds are largely restricted to areas along major river systems, including the Kinnickinnic, Willow, and lower St. Croix. The northern limit of blue-winged warbler breeding range in Wisconsin and Minnesota closely approximates the southern limit of its congener, the golden-winged warbler. As with other regions of limited overlap, hybrids of these species have been observed. Manley Olson observed a hybrid referable to "Brewster's warbler" on 31 May 1967 in St. Croix County. Olyphant (1973) banded a Brewster's warbler in Washington County on 13 July 1973.

Habitat: In this region, breeding blue-winged warblers are characteristic of extensive stands of mature Lowland Deciduous Forest. Typical vegetation of their breeding habitat includes cottonwood, American elm, and green ash as dominants. Ground-layer vegetation in many situations is usually wood nettle and various grasses. Along the lower Willow River near Hudson, a small group of breeding blue-winged warblers use a savannah-like association of Hill's oak and little bluestem. Brushy fields with invading saplings or scattered trees are also used.


Tennessee Warbler (Vermivora peregrina)

Status: Regular migrant.

Migration: Common migrant throughout the Valley. Mean date of spring arrival in the Western Upland is 4 May (earliest-25 April 1948, Polk County; Robbins 1948c). Arrival in the Northern Highland occurs 10-15 May. Peak spring migration through the Valley occurs 10-25 May. Departure of spring migrants in the Western Upland and Central Plain occurs 25-30 May. In the Northern Highland, stragglers can still be found until 10 June. Several mid-June records that suggest possible breeding exist for the Solon Springs area. However, there are no known breeding records of this bird in Wisconsin.

The Tennessee warbler is among the earliest fall migrants of this family, usually arriving in the Northern Highland 15-20 July, reaching the Central Plain and Western Upland 25 July to 1 August. Peak fall migration occurs 20 August to 15 September. This warbler has departed the Northern Highland by 25 September and elsewhere by 5 October (latest-12 October 1961, St. Croix County).

Habitat: Migrant Tennessee warblers regularly use both deciduous and coniferous woods. Perhaps because of its abundance, this warbler is also regularly encountered in residential shrubbery. At the peak of migration, this species congregates in tall trees in residential areas. Six to 10 males per block is not unusual on a peak day. Most mid-June records have been of birds in Northern Hardwood Forest, Lowland Coniferous Forest, and Black Spruce-Tamarack Bogs.


Orange-crowned Warbler (Vermivora celata)

Status: Regular migrant.

Migration: Fairly common migrant in the Western Upland and Central Plain, uncommon in the Northern Highland. Spring migrants arrive in the Western Upland 25 April to 1 May (earliest-22 April 1949, Burnett County), reaching the Northern Highland 5-10 May. Peak spring migration occurs 10-20 May and departure by 25 May. Fall migrants arrive 1-5 September. Peak fall migration occurs 20 September to 5 October and departure by 10 October (latest-18 October 1976, St. Croix County).

Habitat: Most observations of orange-crowned warblers have been in deciduous woods of various early successional stages. Occasional individuals have been observed foraging at the edge of cattail marshes, primarily during spring migration.


Nashville Warbler (Vermivora ruficapilla)

Status: Regular migrant and nesting species.

Migration: Common migrant throughout the Valley, locally abundant in coniferous habitats of the Northern Highland. Spring migrants begin to arrive in the Western Upland about 1 May, reaching the Northern Highland 10-15 May. Peak spring migration occurs 10-20 May and departure of nonbreeders by 30 May. Fall migration begins with family dispersal in early August; however, the first obvious migratory movements occur after 10 August. The first fall migrants reach the Western Upland about 20 August (earliest-14 August 1963, St. Croix County). Peak fall migration occurs 1-15 September and departure by 5 October (latest-19 October 1968, Pine County).

Nesting Season Distribution: Common breeding bird throughout the Northern Highland; less common and more localized in the Central Plain. No breeding records exist for the Western Upland. Jackson (1943) referred to the Nashville Warbler as "one of the most plentiful Warblers in summer in most of the region" in 1919. Breeding Bird Survey data (Table 6) demonstrate the rapid increase in relative abundance moving northward from the Central Plain.

Habitat: Breeding Nashville warblers have been recorded in a variety of deciduous and coniferous habitats. Greatest use appears to be in coniferous habitats and of these Black Spruce-Tamarack Bogs are probably the most important.


Northern Parula (Parula americana)

Status: Regular migrant and summer resident.

Migration: Rare and local migrant in the Western Upland and Central Plain, uncommon in the Northern Highland. Spring migrants arrive 5-10 May in the Western Upland, reaching the Northern Highland 10-15 May. Because of the low numbers recorded, no peak dates have been determined. Departure from the southern regions occurs by 20 May. Fall migration is diffuse as very few birds were recorded each year. Available data suggest that the main period of migration extends from 20 August to 20 September.

Nesting Season Distribution: Rare and local summer resident of the Northern Highland. Available records suggest the main part of their breeding range lies north of the St. Croix River in Douglas and Pine counties. The only Breeding Bird Survey route in the Valley that has recorded this species is the Minong route in Douglas County.

Habitat: Although confirmed nest records are lacking, this species undoubtedly breeds in the Valley. Northern parula observations during the breeding season consist of birds using Lowland Coniferous Forest dominated by a mixture of white cedar, balsam fir, and black spruce. Also typical of their breeding habitat is Unsea moss which is used in nest construction.


Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia)

Status: Regular migrant and nesting species.

Migration: Common spring migrant in all regions; fairly common during fall. Spring migrants arrive in the Western Upland 1-5 May and reach the Northern Highland by 10 May. Peak spring abundance occurs 10-20 May. Fall migration begins with dispersal from breeding areas in late July. The first large fall movement of yellow warblers occurs 1-5 August. Peak fall movements are noted 10-25 August and departure by 5 September.

Nesting Season Distribution: Common breeding species throughout the region with confirmed breeding records from all counties. Jackson (1943) reported that yellow warblers were uncommon breeding birds at the headwaters of the St. Croix River in 1919. Breeding Bird Survey data (Table 6) suggest that the center of yellow warbler abundance in the Valley is in the Central Plain. Goddard (1972) reported a breeding density of 3.4 pairs per 40 ha in the Kinnickinnic River Valley, Pierce County.

Habitat: This warbler appears to use a wide range of habitats, including second-growth deciduous and coniferous woodland, Deciduous Clear Cuts, Black Spruce-Tamarack Bogs, Alder Thicket, Shrub Carr, and edge of various natural basin wetlands. Although seemingly ubiquitous in breeding habitat use, it appears that the yellow warbler demonstrates a strong preference for wetland and wetland-associated habitats.


Magnolia Warbler (Dendroica magnolia)

Status: Regular migrant and summer resident.

Migration: Fairly common migrant in all regions. Spring migrants arrive in the Western Upland 5-10 May (earliest-1 May 1969, Washington County) and reach the Northern Highland about 15 May. Peak spring migration occurs 15-25 May but stragglers remain until 1 June. Fall migrants arrive in the Northern Highland 15-20 August and the Western Upland about 20 August (earliest-15 August 1976, Washington County). Peak fall migration occurs 5-20 September and departure by 1 October (latest-21 October 1955, Polk County; Foster 1956).

Nesting Season Distribution: Rare and local summer resident, restricted to the Northern Highland. Several summer records (16 June 1973, 28 June 1974, and 12 June 1977 from along the St. Croix River in Douglas County, and 10 June 1977 along the St. Croix in Pine County) suggest the possibility of nesting. Bernard (1967) considered the magnolia warbler a rare summer resident in Douglas County, but provided no evidence of nests.

Habitat: Migrant magnolia warblers occupy a wide range of both deciduous and coniferous habitats. This species is most frequently encountered during migration in early successional stages of northern upland deciduous forest and in Deciduous Clear Cuts. My observations of this warbler during the breeding season have been confined to extensive stands of Black Spruce-Tamarack Bog. This habitat type appears to be used extensively for nesting within their normal breeding range in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.


Cape May Warbler (Dendroica tigrina)

Status: Regular migrant, one summer record.

Migration: Uncommon to rare migrant in the Western Upland and Central Plain, uncommon to locally common migrant in the Northern Highland. Spring migrants arrive in the Western Upland 5-10 May, reaching the Northern Highland about 15 May. During spring migration, Cape May warblers are most regularly observed 15-25 May and have departed by 1 June. Robbins (1973) provided the only summer record for the Valley, a singing male 1.6 km north of Gordon, Douglas County, on 16 June 1971. Fall migration begins in mid-August with first arrivals in the Central Plain about 20 August. During fall they are regularly encountered from 25 August to 10 September and depart by 25 September (latest-29 September 1965, Washington County).

Habitat: Migrant Cape May warblers use various age classes of coniferous habitats and early successional stage deciduous habitats. In residential areas, this species is also attracted to blossoming apple trees and ornamental spruces. Robbins (1973) described the habitat of a group of nesting Cape May warblers along the Brule River as black spruce. The area that Robbins described is 8.0 km north of Solon Springs, Douglas County, and within 4.8 km of the St. Croix River watershed. Because extensive stands of similar black spruce habitat exist along the St. Croix near Solon Springs, I would expect that additional birds could be located. However, to date I have been unsuccessful in finding this warbler during the breeding season along the St. Croix River.


Black-throated Blue Warbler (Dendroica caerulescens)

Status: Regular migrant, occasional summer resident.

Migration: Rare migrant throughout the Valley. Most records are from directly adjacent to the St. Croix River. Spring migrants arrive 5-10 May (earliest-2 May 1972, Washington County) and have departed by 25 May. Fall records tend to indicate that this warbler occurs more commonly during that period. Fall migrants arrive 30 August to 5 September. Records indicate that peak fall numbers occur 15-25 September and departure by 30 September (latest-21 October 1961, Polk County).

Nesting Season Distribution: The only evidence of summer residence is provided by Green and Janssen (1975) who reported the most southerly summer records in Minnesota are from "northern Pine County." I have obtained no summer records of this bird within the Valley in Minnesota or Wisconsin. However, during 5-30 June 1971, I regularly observed three pairs of black-throated blue warblers in Bayfield County about 24 km east of Solon Springs. These observations suggest that breeding black-throated blue warblers may also occur in suitable habitat along the northern reaches of the St. Croix River.

Habitat: During migration, this warbler is most common in wet or mesic deciduous forest sites. I have only one record from xeric Southern Deciduous Forest that was dominated by red oak. Observations of black-throated blue warblers during the breeding season in Bayfield County, Wisconsin, were in extensive stands of mature maple-basswood-aspen forest.


Yellow-rumped Warbler (Dendroica coronata)

Status: Regular migrant and nesting species, occasional winter resident.

Migration: Abundant migrant throughout the Valley. The yellow-rumped warbler is the most numerous warbler in this region. Spring migrants arrive in the Western Upland about 5 April (earliest-21 March 1975, Pierce County; 24 March 1963, St. Croix County). Migrants reach the Northern Highland 10-15 April. Peak spring migration through the Valley extends from 20 April to 10 May. Departure from nonbreeding areas occurs by 15 May (latest-24 May 1971, Washington County). Fall migration begins in the Northern Highland 15-20 August; however, the first fall migrants do not reach the Western Upland until 10 September. Peak fall migration occurs 20 September to 5 October. Departure from the Northern Highland occurs by 15 October, 1 November is the usual departure date elsewhere. Occasional stragglers remain in the Western Upland through November. Late dates include 30 November 1975, Pierce County and 3 December 1961, St. Croix County.

Nesting Season Distribution: Rare and local breeding bird, restricted primarily to the Northern Highland. Green and Janssen (1975) showed that the breeding range of this warbler extended into northwestern Pine County. Jackson (1943) did not record breeding season yellow-rumped warblers in the Valley during 1919. Breeding Bird Survey data (Table 6) show that a limited number of yellow-rumped warblers occur along the route of the Minong BBS transect in Douglas County.

On 24 June 1974 and 11 June 1977, I recorded singing yellow-rumped warblers along the St. Croix River in Sec. 23, T. 43 N., R. 14 W., Douglas County, and one singing male was recorded along the St. Croix River in Pine County at the U.S. Highway 77 crossing 4.8 km west of Danbury. Singing and behavioral activities suggested nesting, although nests or young were not observed.

Winter: The only record of an overwintering yellow-rumped warbler is that of one bird remaining at a feeder near River Falls, St. Croix County, during the 1960-61 winter (Faanes and Goddard 1976). Two additional early winter records exist from the Afton CBC: 1 January 1970 (St. Croix County) and 1 January 1975 (Washington County). It is not known if these birds remained throughout the winter.

Habitat: During migration, this warbler is ubiquitous, occurring in essentially all available habitats. Breeding season records include birds from extensive stands of Lowland Coniferous Forest, dominated by white spruce, from Black Spruce-Tamarack Bogs, Jack Pine Barren, and areas of mature white pine. Both habitats are used extensively by nesting yellow-rumped warblers within their normal breeding range in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.


Black-throated Green Warbler (Dendroica virens)

Status: Regular migrant and nesting species.

Migration: Uncommon migrant throughout the Valley, locally common in the Northern Highland. Spring migrants arrive in the Western Upland 5-10 May, reaching the Northern Highland 10-15 May. Peak spring migration occurs 15-25 May and nonbreeders have departed by 30 May. Fall migration begins in the Northern Highland 15-20 August and the first migrants reach the Western Upland 25-30 August. Peak fall migration occurs 5-20 September and departure by 5 October (latest-7 October 1973, St. Croix County).

Nesting Season Distribution: Uncommon breeding bird in the Northern Highland. Rare and local in southern Pine, Burnett, and northern Polk and Chisago Counties. Jackson (1943) reported this warbler as "not uncommon" at Solon Springs, Douglas County. On BBS transects (Table 6) black-throated green warblers have been recorded only on the Minong route, Douglas County. This warbler was recorded on 9 June 1973 in Chisago County (Longley 1973b), but no evidence of nesting was obtained.

Habitat: Mature Northern Hardwood Forest dominated by sugar maple, basswood, and trembling aspen is used extensively. The large expanses of Lowland Coniferous Forest, primarily adjacent to the upper St. Croix River, are also important.


Cerulean Warbler (Dendroica cerulea)

Status: Regular migrant and nesting species.

Migration: Rare spring and fall migrant, restricted primarily to the Western Upland and a small region of the Central Plain. Spring migrants begin to arrive 10-15 May. Most observations are after 15 May and are probably of birds on breeding territories. Data are too few to establish fall migration periods. The latest date available is 16 August 1974 in St. Croix County.

Nesting Season Distribution: Rare and local breeding bird. Confirmed nest records exist only for St. Croix County. On 23 June 1976, I observed adults feeding two young in the nest along the Willow River near Hudson (T. 29 N., R. 19 W.). Cerulean warblers occur regularly only in the lower reaches of the Kinnickinnic River (Pierce County) and Willow River (St. Croix County) and near Afton State Park (Washington County). Occasional breeding season records have been obtained at the mouth of the Apple River (St. Croix County) and from lowland forest at Marine-on-St. Croix (Washington County). Records away from the typical range of this warbler in the Valley include two singing males on 2 June 1968 at Franconia, Chisago County, one in Chisago County on 6 June 1971, and one male near Range, Polk County, on 15 June 1968.

Habitat: Breeding season observations of this warbler have been restricted to Lowland Deciduous Forest. Predominant vegetation of these areas include mature stands of American elm, cottonwood, and green ash.


Blackburnian Warbler (Dendroica fusca)

Status: Regular migrant and nesting species.

Migration: Fairly common migrant in the Western Upland and Central Plain, common in the Northern Highland. Spring migrants arrive 5-10 May, reaching the Northern Highland 10-12 May. Peak spring migration occurs 15-25 May and departure from nonbreeding areas by 30 May. Jackson (1943) considered this warbler "abundant" at St. Croix Falls (Polk County) 21-25 May 1919. Fall migration begins 10-15 August and the first birds reach the Western Upland about 20 August. Peak fall migration occurs 5-15 September and birds depart by 25 September.

Nesting Season Distribution: Uncommon breeding bird, restricted to the Northern Highland. Breeding season records exist for Burnett, Douglas, and Pine counties. The only confirmed nest records are from Pine (Green and Janssen 1975) and Douglas (Chambers 1944) counties. However, it undoubtedly nests elsewhere in the Northern Highland. Jackson (1943) reported that courting Blackburnian warblers were observed at St. Croix Falls on 24 May 1919. He noted that "although no nests were discovered . . ., the environment is favorable for nesting." Breeding Bird Survey data (Table 6) indicate that this bird occurs in relatively low densities during the breeding season in the Northern Highland.

Habitat: The Blackburnian warbler is characteristic of northern coniferous forests. Territorial birds are encountered most regularly in large tracts of Lowland Coniferous Forest dominated by black spruce, white cedar, and hemlock. Breeding birds also use Black Spruce-Tamarack Bogs and white pine forest where remnants still exist.


Chestnut-sided Warbler (Dendroica pensylvanica)

Status: Regular migrant and nesting species.

Migration: Common migrant throughout the Valley. The mean date of spring arrival in the Western Upland is 8 May (earliest-2 May 1974, Pierce County) and arrival in the Northern Highland by 12 May. Peak migration occurs 10-25 May and birds have departed nonbreeding areas by 30 May. Fall migration begins in the Northern Highland 5-10 August with dispersal of young, and the first migrants reach the Western Upland 15-20 August. Peak migration occurs 1-15 September. Departure from the Northern Highland occurs 15-20 September and elsewhere by 1 October (latest-5 October 1973, St. Croix County).

Nesting Season Distribution: Common breeding bird in the Northern Highland and that part of the Central Plain north of St. Croix Falls and Taylor's Falls. South of that line, they are uncommon and local, and rare and local in the Western Upland. Green and Janssen (1975) showed that the breeding range of this warbler extended through the three Minnesota counties. On 26 June 1979, I heard and saw territorial males 4.8 km west of Taylor's Falls, Chisago County. Although nests or young were not observed, I have no doubt they nested in this area.

Nests or young have been recorded in all subject Wisconsin counties except Pierce. An area near the Cylon Marsh Wildlife Area (Sec.15, T. 31 N., R. 16 W.) and at the mouth of the Apple River (Sec. 20, T. 31 N., R. 19 W. ), St. Croix County, are the most southerly locations of regular occurrence. Jackson (1943) recorded this warbler only "occasionally" in the Northern Highland near Solon Springs in 1919, but BBS data (Table 6) show that breeding chestnut-sided warblers occur commonly throughout the Valley and that largest densities are in the Northern Highland.

Habitat: Early successional stages of deciduous and coniferous habitats are used for nesting. Deciduous Clear Cuts that are predominantly aspen support the greatest density of breeding chestnut-sided warblers. Northern Hardwood Forest that is dominated by maple-basswood-aspen is also important. Recent attempts by State wildlife agencies to retard vegetational succession by clear-cutting or selectively logging mature deciduous forest are beneficial for this warbler.


Bay-breasted Warbler (Dendroica castanea)

Status: Regular migrant.

Migration: Uncommon to rare spring migrant in the Western Upland and Central Plain; fairly common in the Northern Highland. Common fall migrant throughout the Valley. Spring migrants arrive in the Western Upland 8-12 May, reaching the Northern Highland about 15 May. Peak migration occurs 15-25 May and departure by 1 June. Jackson (1943) reported that the collection of a female bay-breasted warbler at Danbury, Douglas County, on 27 May 1919 was the only spring record obtained in northwestern Wisconsin that year. Fall migrants arrive in the Northern Highland in late July, reaching the Western Upland 10-15 August. Peak fall migration occurs 1-20 September. Departure from the Northern Highland occurs 20-25 September and elsewhere by 1 October (latest-19 October 1968, Chisago County).

Habitat: Bay-breasted warblers occupy a wide range of deciduous and coniferous habitats. In the Northern Highland they are most regularly observed in Lowland Coniferous Forest or Black Spruce-Tamarack Bog.


Blackpoll Warbler (Dendroica striata)

Status: Regular migrant.

Migration: Common migrant throughout the Valley. Spring migrants arrive in the Western Upland 5-10 May (earliest-30 April 1967; 1 May 1969, Washington County) and the Northern Highland 10-15 May. Peak spring migration occurs 15-25 May and departure is by 30 May (latest-2 June 1970, Washington County). Fall migrants arrive in the Northern Highland 10-15 August and reach the Western Upland 15-20 August. Peak fall migration occurs 30 August to 20 September and departure 25-30 September.

Habitat: Although both deciduous and coniferous forest habitats are regularly used, this warbler is the most common in mature deciduous forest.


Pine Warbler (Dendroica pinus)

Status: Regular migrant and nesting species.

Migration: Uncommon to rare migrant throughout the Valley. Jackson (1943) found this warbler not as plentiful as anticipated in 1919. However, they were considered "common" at Danbury, Burnett County, 27-30 May 1919. Spring migrants arrive in the Western Upland 1-5 May and the Northern Highland 5-10 May. This species is most frequently encountered 10-20 May. Departure from nonbreeding areas occurs by 25 May. Fall migration begins in the Northern Highland 10-15 August and the first birds reach the Western Upland 20-30 August. This species is most frequently encountered 1-15 September and they have departed by 1 October.

Nesting Season Distribution: Uncommon breeding species in the Northern Highland, rare and local in the Central Plain. Breeding Bird Survey data (Table 6) also suggest that this species is in the Western Upland during the nesting season. Although breeding season records exist for all areas except Pierce and Washington counties, confirmed nest records exist only for Pine County. Territorial birds were recorded in Chisago County during the summers of 1973-74 and 1976. The only location of regular occurrence in St. Croix County is near Burkhardt (Sec. 3,T. 29 N., R. 19 W.).

Habitat: Characteristic nesting species of remnant white pine forest. Although regularly recorded in Jack Pine Barrens, Breeding Bird Survey data for the Union transect (Burnett County) suggest that low densities occur in that habitat.


Palm Warbler (Dendroica palmarum)

Status: Regular migrant, probable nesting species.

Migration: Abundant migrant throughout the Valley, probably second only to the yellow-rumped warbler in overall abundance. Spring migrants arrive in the Western Upland 25 April to 1 May, reaching the Northern Highland 1-5 May. Peak migration occurs 5-15 May and departure by 25 May. A singing male in Chisago County on 4 June 1968 was undoubtedly a very late migrant. Fall migrants arrive in the Northern Highland 20-25 August and the Central Plain 25 August to 5 September. Peak fall migration occurs 10-25 September and birds depart by 10 October (latest-25 October 1968, Chisago County).

Nesting Season Distribution: This species probably nests in Douglas County (S. D. Robbins, personal communication). On 27 June 1966, Robbins heard a singing male palm warbler in a bog in Sec. 35, T. 43 N., R. 12 W. On 26 June 1974 a male was heard in Sec. 23, T. 43 N., R. 12 W. On the same date another male palm warbler was recorded in a large open bog 6.4 km north of Moose Junction (T. 44 N., R. 14 W.).

Habitat: In the Western Upland and Central Plain, palm warblers occupy medium-aged deciduous forest extensively. Alder Thicket and Shrub Carr are also important. In the Northern Highland, extensive use is made of Lowland Coniferous Forest, Black Spruce-Tamarack Bogs, and sedge meadow. Nesting season records are of birds in open Black Spruce-Tamarack Bogs.


Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus)

Status: Regular migrant and nesting species.

Migration: Common migrant throughout the Valley. Spring migrants arrive in the Western Upland about 1 May and the Northern Highland 5-10 May. Peak spring migration occurs 10-20 May. Departure from nonbreeding areas of the Western Upland occurs by 25 May. Peak fall migration is 1 September (Northern Highland) to 10 September (Western Upland) and departure is by 1 October.

Nesting Season Distribution: Common to locally abundant breeding bird in the Northern Highland and Central Plain. Uncommon and local in the Western Upland. Breeding Bird Survey data (Table 6) indicate that this warbler occurs in greatest numbers in the Northern Highland and Central Plain. Jackson (1943) referred to the ovenbird as the characteristic and often dominant breeding bird in heavier deciduous forest (= mature Northern Hardwood). Goddard (1972) reported the ovenbird was the most abundant breeding warbler in the Lower Kinnickinnic River Valley, Pierce County.

Habitat: Characteristic nesting species of mature Northern Hardwood Forest, where the predominant tree species include sugar maple, basswood, trembling aspen, and white birch. In the Western Upland, breeding ovenbirds are associated with red oak-Hill's oak forest. Remnant stands of mixed red pine and white pine are regularly used in the northern regions.


Northern Waterthrush (Seiurus noveboracensis)

Status: Regular migrant and nesting species.

Migration: Fairly common migrant in the Western Upland and Central Plain, locally common in the Northern Highland. Spring migrants arrive 1-5 May, reaching the Northern Highland 5-10 May. Peak migration occurs 10-20 May and departure from nonbreeding areas is by 30 May. Fall migrants arrive in the Northern Highland about 5 August, reaching the Western Upland 20-25 August (earliest-12 August 1962, St. Croix County). Peak fall migration occurs 25 August to 10 September and departure by 30 September.

Nesting Season Distribution: Rare and local breeding species, occurring primarily in the Northern Highland. Most observations of nesting season northern waterthrushes have been in habitats along and adjacent to the St. Croix River in Douglas, Burnett, and Pine counties. Breeding Bird Survey data show the low breeding density of this species in the Valley. Goddard (1972) reported a northern Waterthrush during the breeding season along the Kinnickinnic River, Pierce County, in June 1971. If correct, that record would extend the probable breeding range of this species at least 160 km south. The lack of proper habitat, plus the population of Louisiana waterthrush along the river, render that record suspect.

Habitat: This species uses a narrow range of wet habitats in the Northern Highland. Primary breeding habitat includes Lowland Coniferous Forest, Alder Thicket, and Northern Sedge Meadow that is becoming invaded with various shrubs including smooth alder and gray dogwood. During migration in the Western Upland and Central Plain, Lowland Deciduous Forest, Northern Hardwood Forest, and Deciduous Clear Cuts are used extensively, as are shorelines of lakes and streams.


Louisiana Waterthrush (Seiurus motacilla)

Status: Regular migrant and nesting species.

Migration: Rare spring migrant in the Western Upland and Central Plain. Records in the Central Plain are restricted to areas south of St. Croix Falls and Taylor's Falls. No well-defined pattern of spring migration can be established. Most birds observed appear to be on established breeding territories. Most spring individuals occur 10-30 May (earliest-27 April 1964 [Soulen 1965], 2 May 1948, and 3 May 1966; Washington County). Fall migration is early and diffuse (latest-23 August 1974, Chisago County; 11 September 1972, St. Croix County).

Nesting Season Distribution: Rare and local nesting species of the Western Upland and Central Plain. Confirmed breeding records exist for Chisago (Green and Janssen 1975), Washington, and St. Croix counties. Breeding season birds have also been recorded in Pierce and Polk counties; however, nest records are lacking.

Probably the best-known breeding area in the Valley for Louisiana waterthrush is along Lawrence Creek near Franconia, Chisago County. Longley (1973b) described the first known breeding record of this bird at that location, when a nest containing two young cowbirds, one young Louisiana waterthrush, and one addled egg was found near Franconia on 9 June 1973. In June 1968 Longley (1973b) recorded six singing males at this same locality. One Louisiana waterthrush was also recorded at that location in 1974-76 and a nest was found in 1975.

Another well-known nesting area is along the lower Willow River near the Trout Brook Road bridge at Hudson, St. Croix County. At that location, Louisiana waterthrush has been recorded in the breeding season intermittently since 1960. On 3 June 1974, I recorded singing males at four locations along a 300-m reach of this stream. Returning on 5 June 1975, I located two singing males and found one nest containing three eggs; their outcome is unknown.

Elsewhere, records from Washington County include one nest at Stillwater on 10 July 1943 (Chambers 1944) and a nest containing five young on 17 June 1945 (Lupient 1945). Roberts (1938) described the observation of a nest and young along the St. Croix River below Taylor's Falls, Chisago County, on 2-4 July 1927. Goddard (1972) reported this species during June 1971 along the Lower Kinnickinnic River, Pierce County. In the area near the mouth of that river, two to three singing males have been recorded yearly in June 1973-78, but no nest has been found.

Habitat: Rich stands of Lowland Deciduous Forest along fast-moving streams. The St. Croix County nest was located beneath an overhanging root of American elm, less than 1 m from water's edge.


Kentucky Warbler (Oporornis formosus)

Status: Casual, two records.

Record: S. D. Robbins observed a male Kentucky warbler near Roberts, St. Croix County, on 28 May 1963 (Faanes and Goddard 1976). This observation represents the most northerly record of this warbler in Wisconsin. Glassel (1977) described the observation of a singing male Kentucky warbler on 17 June 1977 at Afton State Park, Washington County. The bird remained in the area at least until 19 June 1977.


Connecticut Warbler (Oporornis agilis)

Status: Regular migrant and nesting species.

Migration: Rare spring and uncommon fall migrant throughout the Valley. Spring migrants arrive in the Western Upland 15-20 May (earliest-4 May 1974, Pierce County), and reach the Northern Highland about 25 May. During spring they are most frequently observed 25 May to 5 June and depart by 10 June. Fall migrants arrive 15-20 August in the Northern Highland and 20-25 August in the Western Upland. Peak fall migration occurs 5-15 September and they depart by 25 September. Roberts (1938) mentioned the observation of "several" Connecticut warblers in Pine County during the first week of October 1929.

Nesting Season Distribution: Rare and local during the nesting season. Gromme (1941) described the only confirmed breeding of this warbler in the Valley; a nest containing four young on 7 July 1941, near Gordon, Douglas County (T. 43 N., R. 13 W.). Green and Janssen (1975) showed that the nesting range of this warbler in Minnesota reached northern Pine County. Breeding Bird Survey data (Table 6) suggest that a fairly large breeding population exists in southern Douglas County (Sec. 11, 12, 13, 14, T. 43 N., R. 12 W.; Robbins 1974a). Another population is known to occur in northwestern Burnett County near Grantsburg.

Habitat: Bent (1953) described the breeding habitat of the Connecticut warbler as consisting of tamarack bogs or wet coniferous forest. However, Robbins (1974a) reported this warbler in fairly large densities in monotypic stands of jack pine. Further description of this habitat indicates the trees were 4 - 9 m high and had well-developed lower branches. Trees < 4.6 m tall or those with a scarcity of lower branches were not used by breeding Connecticut warblers. Robbins' observation of nesting in jack pine is further substantiated by recent (1974-78) records from the Union BBS transect, Burnett County. The habitat along this route also consists of large tracts of jack pine, and Connecticut warblers have been found regularly there.


Mourning Warbler (Oporornis Philadelphia)

Status: Regular migrant and nesting species.

Migration: Fairly common migrant throughout the Valley. Spring migrants arrive in the Western Upland 10-15 May and reach the Northern Highland 15-20 May. Peak spring migration occurs 25 May to 5 June and departure from nonbreeding areas by 10 June. Fall migrants arrive in the Western Upland 20-25 August. Peak fall migration through the Valley occurs 5-15 September and departure by 25 September (latest-29 September 1965, Washington County).

Nesting Season Distribution: Fairly common (locally common) breeding bird in the Northern Highland and the northern half of the Central Plain. Elsewhere, the mourning warbler is uncommon to rare during the nesting season. A nest with young observed in Washington County on 11 and 13 July 1975 (Eckert 1975) represents the southernmost breeding record in the Valley. Breeding Bird Survey data (Table 6) also suggest that the mourning warbler breeding population increases with latitude through the Valley.

Habitat: Characteristic breeding habitat of the mourning warbler includes Northern Hardwood Forest and Deciduous Clear Cuts. Primary nesting habitat of this warbler appears to be areas of dense understory in mature stands of deciduous forest, such as those resulting from openings in the overstory that allow ample sunlight to penetrate. The edge between medium-aged aspen forest and open fields or highway rights-of-way are also important habitats. I have not recorded this warbler in coniferous habitats during the breeding season.


Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)

Status: Regular migrant and nesting species.

Migration: Common migrant throughout the Valley. Spring migrants arrive in the Western Upland 1-5 May and the Northern Highland about 10 May. Peak spring migration occurs 10-20 May. Fall migration begins about 15 August. Peak fall migration through the Valley occurs 5-20 September and departure by 5 October (latest-17 October 1955, Polk County).

Nesting Season Distribution: Abundant and well-distributed breeding bird in all regions. Confirmed nest records have been obtained from all counties. Goddard (1972) reported that the common yellowthroat was the second most abundant breeding warbler in the Kinnickinnic River Valley, Pierce County. Breeding Bird Survey data (Table 6) suggest that the common yellowthroat is the most obvious, if not the most abundant, breeding warbler in the Valley. The greatest relative abundance occurs in the Northern Highland and in northern areas of the Central Plain.

Habitat: The common yellowthroat is nearly unlimited in its choice of nesting habitat. Jackson (1943) found this warbler in "damp brushy woodland." In the Western Upland, common yellowthroats are most abundant in small patches of mixed willow and cottonwood associated with streams or rivers. In the Central Plain, extensive use is made of the cattail-bulrush vegetation associated with seasonally and semipermanently flooded wetlands; Shrub Carr and sedge meadow are also important. In the Northern Highland, this warbler uses Alder Thickets, Northern Sedge Meadows, and Forest Bordered Lakes. Tamarack bogs and Lowland Coniferous Forest are also important. Use of upland habitats include dry upland fields and brushy edge areas.


Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens)

Status: Casual migrant and summer resident.

Migration: There are two spring records from St. Croix County: 6 May 1964 and 18 May 1962. Both observations were made along Trout Brook Road near Hudson. One fall record (22-29 September 1948) exists for St. Croix Falls, Polk County (Robbins 1949).

Nesting Season Distribution: S. D. Robbins observed singing male yellow-breasted chats near Hudson and Burkhardt, St. Croix County, on 17 June 1961, 21 June 1963, and 30 June 1964. The habitat associated with these birds consisted of various shrubby plants at the border of agricultural fields and (one bird) the edge of a retired hayfield. These habitats are similar to typical breeding habitat within their normal range. Thus, it is likely at that date that these were males defending territories or at least advertising for a mate.

Habitat: This species is most frequently encountered in the Old Field Community and brushy edges of Southern Deciduous Forest.


Hooded Warbler (Wilsonia citrina)

Status: Casual, two spring records.

Records: S. D. Robbins observed a singing male hooded warbler at the entrance to Birkmose Park in Hudson, St. Croix County, on 29 May 1963 (Faanes and Goddard 1976). A male hooded warbler was banded and photographed in Washington County on 2 June 1962 (Olyphant 1962).


Wilson's Warbler (Wilsonia pusilla)

Status: Regular migrant.

Migration: Fairly common (locally common) migrant throughout the Valley. Spring migrants arrive in the Western Upland about 10 May (earliest-4 May 1966, Washington County) and reach the Northern Highland from 10-15 May. Peak spring migration occurs 15-25 May and departure is by 1 June. Fall migrants arrive in the Northern Highland 10- 15 August and the Western Upland about 20 August. Peak fall migration occurs 25 August to 10 September and departure is by 25 September (latest-27 September 1967, Washington County).

Habitat: Wilson's warbler uses a variety of deciduous and coniferous habitats during migration. Although no single habitat is of major importance, this species is most frequently observed in brushy fencerows, Deciduous Clear Cuts, and young to medium-aged Northern Hardwood Forest dominated by trembling aspen and white birch.


Canada Warbler (Wilsonia canadensis)

Status: Regular migrant and summer resident.

Migration: Uncommon migrant throughout the Valley. The Canada warbler is among the latest arriving warblers during spring migration. The first birds reach the Western Upland 12-15 May and the Northern Highland 15-20 May. Peak spring migration occurs 20-30 May and departure from nonbreeding areas by 30 May (latest-2 June 1970, Washington County). The first fall migrants arrive in the Western Upland 5-10 August. Peak fall migration occurs 15 August to 5 September and departure by 15 September (latest-29 September 1967, Washington County).

Nesting Season Distribution: Rare and local during the breeding season, apparently restricted to the Northern Highland. Breeding Bird Survey data (Table 6) also suggest restriction to the Northern Highland. The breeding range of this warbler in the Minnesota counties is known to include only northern Pine County (Green and Janssen 1975).

Habitat: Primarily encountered along the edge of Northern Hardwood Forest and in Lowland Coniferous Forest during the nesting season. My observations of this bird's breeding habitat suggests that brushy understory associated with Northern Hardwood Forest is probably most regularly used. Deciduous Clear Cuts in the Northern Highland receive moderate use as does the brushy edge between aspen forest and adjacent open areas.


American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)

Status: Regular migrant and nesting species.

Migration: Common (locally abundant) migrant throughout the Valley. Spring migrants arrive in the Western Upland 1- 5 May and reach the Northern Highland 5-10 May. Peak spring migration occurs 10-25 May. During 1919, Jackson (1943) reported that American redstarts were "the commonest of the warblers" at St. Croix Falls, Polk County, and he found them "abundant" in timber along the St. Croix River. Fall migration begins 5-10 August in the Northern Highland and 20-25 August elsewhere. Peak fall migration occurs 25 August to 15 September and departure is by 5 October (latest-13 October 1966, Washington County).

Nesting Season Distribution: Common nesting species throughout the Valley. Locally abundant in the Western Upland and Central Plain, in areas associated with the mouths of major streams. Goddard (1972) reported a density of 3.9 pairs per 40 ha in the lower Kinnickinnic River Valley, Pierce County. However, his study area was primarily upland deciduous forest, which is not preferred habitat of breeding American redstarts. Breeding Bird Survey data (Table 6) suggest that highest breeding densities occur in the Central Plain and Northern Highland. Unfortunately, this route of survey does not traverse important American redstart habitat directly adjacent to the St. Croix River and its tributaries in the Western Upland.

Habitat: Characteristic breeding bird of Lowland Deciduous Forest in the Western Upland and Central Plain. Vegetation of these areas includes American elm, box elder, green ash, and basswood. Important upland habitat in the Northern Highland includes medium-aged to mature Northern Hardwood Forest that is dominated by basswood, maple, big-toothed aspen, and white birch. Use of coniferous habitats by nesting American redstarts is very light.


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