CANADA WARBLER(Cardellina canadensis) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Canada Warbler has a band of black streaks extending down on its yellow breast. This feature is apparent in both sexes, although less in the female. The breeding male has grey upper parts and yellow under parts. There is also some black on each side of the throat, and a yellow band between the eye and the bill. There is a white ring around the eye. The bill is grey, and the legs pinkish. Females are similar, although with duller colors. The length of this warbler is around 14 cm (5 inches).
NAME: Warblers are thus called thanks to their generally melodious songs. The Latin genus name ‘cardellina’ means a ‘small cardella’, from Italian dialect that refers to the unrelated European Goldfinch. The Canada warbler is also called ‘Necklaced’ warbler because of its neck plumage.
HABITAT: Prefers a moist or wet habitat in mixed forests, such as cedar swamps and beaver ponds, both on its breeding and wintering grounds.
DIET: Flying insects and spiders, occasionally worms and snails; berries in the winter.
NESTING: The Canada warbler stays on its breeding grounds just long enough to raise one brood. The nest is built near or on the ground. Around four creamy eggs are laid, incubated by the female. Both parents feed the chicks. The nest of this species is often parasitized by the Brown-headed Cowbird.
DISTRIBUTION: This warbler is found mainly in Canada (around 80%), in the southeast part. The breeding range also covers the northeast part of the USA, including the Great Lakes region. The wintering range in located in the southern part of Central America and the northern part of South America, including the Andes forest.
ON PEI: Breeds on Prince Edward Island, fairly common depending on the years.
CONSERVATION: This warbler is listed as ‘threatened’ by COSEWIC. A main threat is loss of habitat in its wintering range, as much as 90% due to agriculture expansion, collection of fuel wood, and cultivation of illegal drugs (coca). There is also the spraying of non-selective herbicides to eliminate those coca plants. The spraying of forests in the Maritimes against the spruce budworm would also be a contributing factor.
NOTES: This species of warbler is one of the last to reach its breeding grounds in the spring, and one of the first to leave.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Magnolia Warbler
REFERENCES: (Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas)
American Bird Conservancy (Canada Warbler) (Species at Risk)

Canada warbler, male - photo by William H. Majoros
Canada warbler, male – photo by William H. Majoros
Canada warbler, female - photo by Emmett Hume
Canada warbler, female – photo by Emmett Hume