Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Blackburnian Warbler

Who is not startled by the brilliant beauty of a male Blackburnian Warbler?  On 10 May 2011, we were delighted to band and release two of these warblers. The species breeds in conifers in southeastern Canada and north-central and northeastern United States, continuing down the Appalachian Mountains.  Like the Cerulean Warbler, Blackburnians are vulnerable to deforestation in their wintering grounds in northern South America.  As much as 34% of their wintering grounds have been destroyed.  Blackburnians are also sensitive to timber operations and fragmentation of forest tracts in their breeding grounds. For now, nevertheless, their numbers appear to be stable.  The accidental importation of an East Asian bug in 1924 has caused massive die-offs of Eastern Hemlocks and Fraser Fir in the eastern United States and will undoubtedly adversely affect birds (like the Blackburnian Warbler) that depend on these trees (Morse 2004).

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