BLUE-WINGED WARBLER

BLUE-WINGED WARBLER(Vermivora cyanoptera) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Blue-winged Warbler breeding male has a yellow head and yellow undersides. Back is yellow-olive, wings and tail are grey. Undertail is white. Wings have two light blue bars. There is a black line between bill base and eyes. Eyes and pointed bill are black. Legs and feet are dark grey. Female and immature have duller colors, and immature has a pinkish bill. Bird length is around 11 cm (4.5 inches).
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Vermivora-cyanoptera
NAME: ‘Warbler’ means ‘to sing with trills and quavers’. Latin genus name ‘Vermivora’ means ‘to eat worms’. Latin species name ‘cyanoptera’ means ‘blue-winged’.
HABITAT: Abandoned fields, forest edges, scrub land.
DIET: Insects, arthropods such as spiders.
NESTING: Nest is built on or near the ground in thick vegetation. Between four and six white eggs are laid, incubated by female. Chicks fed by both parents. Nest is often paratisized by Brown-headed Cowbird.
DISTRIBUTION: Breeds in areas south of the Great Lakes, winters in the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico) and along the south coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
Distribution Map: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue-winged_warbler – /media/File:Vermivora_cyanoptera_map.svg
ON PEI: Does not breed on Prince Edward Island, sightings listed as ‘accidental’ so far. See note below on bird vagrancy.
CONSERVATION: Population slightly declining, currently not considered at risk.
NOTES: This species inter-breeds with the Golden-winged Warbler.
Vagrancy: In biology this means an animal going way outside its normal range. For birds, this can happen when there are storms and they get blown off course. On other times, the bird simply wanders in a different direction than usual. Here’s an article about vagrancy in birds.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Yellow Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler
REFERENCES: http://fieldguide.mt.gov/speciesDetail.aspx?elcode=ABPBX01020 (Montana Field Guide)
American Bird Conservancy (Blue-winged Warbler)
http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/334/overview/Blue-winged_Warbler.aspx
https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Vermivora_pinus/ (University of Michigan)
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Blue-winged_Warbler/lifehistory
Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas (Blue-winged Warbler)
http://birdweb.org/birdweb/bird/blue-winged_warbler

Blue-winged Warbler, adult male - North Berwick, ME - July 2013 - photo by Ken Janes
Blue-winged Warbler, adult male – North Berwick, ME – July 2013 – photo by Ken Janes
Blue-Winger Warbler - South Padre Island, TX - Apr. 2013 - photo by TonyCastro
Blue-Winger Warbler – South Padre Island, TX – Apr. 2013 – photo by TonyCastro

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