In On the Move, our regular column about migration, we present pairs of distribution maps from eBird that you can use to compare where interesting birds are at different times of year. We featured Blue-winged Warbler, pictured above, in our August 2017 issue.
The spritely Blue-winged Warbler has experienced dynamic changes in its breeding range since the European settlement of North America. Formerly restricted to the shrubby savannahs of the Ozarks, Tennessee, and Kentucky, the species benefitted greatly from forest clearing in the East by early settlers, but currently many populations are in decline due to forest regeneration and loss of habitat to urban sprawl. In January during the nonbreeding season, Blue-winged Warbler occurs mainly from southern Mexico and the Yucatan to western Panama. In August, warblers are distributed throughout the Midwest and Great Lakes states, the Northeast, and south through Appalachia. The warbler is a relatively early migrant, and by August many birds have already departed their breeding sites. Look and listen for the distinctive beeee-buzzzz of males in shrubby secondary growth habitats during the breeding season.
eBird is the real-time online checklist operated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon. “On the Move” is written by eBird’s Garrett MacDonald, Chris Wood, Marshall Iliff, and Brian Sullivan. Submit your bird sightings at ebird.org.
A version of this article appeared in “Birding Briefs” in the August 2017 issue of BirdWatching. Subscribe
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