TENNESSEE WARBLER – (Oreothlypis peregrina)
The Tennessee Warbler is a small passerine at about 10 cm (4 in.) long. Its head is medium grey and the back and wings olive green. The wings are dark brown, and the under parts are light grey. Females and juveniles are washed out replicas of the male. There is a white eye ring with a black stripe in the middle. The bill is sharp and grey. The feet also are grey.
The English name of this warbler was given by American ornithologist Alexander Wilson, after finding an individual along the banks of the Cumberland River in Tennessee. The name ‘warbler’ means ‘to sing with trills’, but not all warblers would qualify. The Latin name ‘Oreothlypis’ comes from ancient Greek and means ‘mountain’ (from ‘oros’), and a small bird (from ‘thlypis’).
The habitat of this warbler is the coniferous forest, and its preferred food is the spruce budworm, to the point where its population levels fluctuate with outbreaks of that pest. Tennessee warblers have no location preference when foraging, and can be found at all levels of the tree canopy. The nest is placed on or near the ground.
The Tennessee warbler breeds on PEI and is fairly common on the island in spring and summer, but is uncommon in the fall. In spite of its English name, this warbler species breeds mainly in the boreal forests of Canada and the northeast part of the USA. It migrates to Central America, the Caribbean, and the northern part of South America for the winter. Its population appears stable.