MAGNOLIA WARBLER – (Setophaga magnolia)
The Magnolia warbler breeding male has a grey cap, black back and mask across the eyes, with a small whitish patch behind the eyes. It has a yellow throat and black stripes on a yellow breast. The wings have a conspicuous white band. The female looks similar but her colors are much duller and the face is plain grey with no marks. The magnolia warbler is approximately 12 cm (5 in.) long.
The magnolia warbler has been given its name by American ornithologist Alexander Wilson, because the first specimen he found was in magnolias. Warblers are thus called thanks to their generally melodious songs. The Latin name ‘setophaga’ refers to ‘moth eater’.
During breeding season this bird can be observed in dense forest, especially among conifers. They build their nest on a branch near the ground. Their diet consists of insects (caterpillars are a favorite) and arthropods. In the winter they will switch to berries and nectar. They have two different types of calls.
The magnolia warbler breeds in PEI and is common in spring and summer. Its main breeding range is the mid-latitudes of Canada except out west, and its wintering range is in Central America and the Caribbean mainly.