Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Prairie Warbler

About the most uncommon bird I have banded in Minnesota is the Prairie Warbler.  Eckert writes that the species is casual in southeastern Minnesota, with only about a dozen records. I caught this one near Dundas very early on the morning of 13 May 2009.  (The black backgrounds here and in my last post were due to the birds being flash-photographed early in the morning or at dusk.)

This bird is found in the East, with the closest normal breeding occurring in Illinois and Arkansas. The species usually inhabits abandoned fields with young pines or cedars. Originally Prairie Warblers were not common birds, but the species benefited from deforestation. Since 1970, however, the numbers have dropped, perhaps due to Eastern urbanization, reforestation, and/or habitat destruction in its Caribbean winter range (Nolan et al. 1999).

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