Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tennessee Warbler

It seemed like every time I checked my net this fall, I found at least one Tennessee Warbler. Between 24 August and 8 October, I banded 73 of these drab warblers. My average number banded both in the spring and fall from 2008 through 2013 is 34.

Tennessee Warbler numbers fluctuate from year to year. On their Canadian breeding grounds, these birds are Spruce Budworm specialists. When budworm caterpillar numbers peak, like after fires or logging, Tennessee Warblers can become abundant. Censuses found over 500 male warblers per 250 acres during peak years. These data are from Rimmer and Mcfarland (2012), who report that, despite the fluctuations, Tennessee Warbler populations have been stable during the past 30 years. They suspect the species is “more abundant now than it was in the nineteenth century.”

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