Sunday, 25 March 2012

Golden-winged warbler

Vermivora chrysoptera

(Photo from Bornanews)

Common name:
golden-winged warbler (en); mariquita-d'asa-dourada (pt); paruline à ailes dorées (fr); chipe de alas doradas (es); goldflügel-waldsänger (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Parulidae

This species breeds in south-eastern Canada and in the north-eastern United States. It migrates south to winter in Central America and in northern Colombia and Venezuela.

The golden-winged warbler is 12-14 cm long and has a wingspan of 19-21 cm. These bird weigh 8-11 g.

These birds breed in open woodlands, patchy scrublands and along forest edges and clearings. They are also found in in marshes and tamarack bogs. During winter they are found in the canopies of tropical forests.

They forage by probing and picking among foliage, taking various insects and spiders. Caterpillars and adult moths are an important part of their diet.

Golden-winged warblers breed in April-July. The female builds the nest, an open cup made of leaves, grapevine bark, and grass, lined with fine plant material. The nest is placed on the ground, at base of scrub or in a tussock of grass or sedge, usually hidden by foliage. The female lays 3-7 pale cream or pink eggs with brown streaks, which she incubates alone for 10-11 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 8-9 days after hatching, but continue to receive food from parents for another month. Each pair raises a single brood per year.

IUCN status - NT (Near-threatened)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 210.000 individuals. The population has undergone a large decline of 22% per decade over the last 4 decades, mostly caused by advancing succession and reforestation, and the invasive range expansion of blue-winged warbler Vermivora pinus. Other possible causes of population declines are loss of wintering habitat through agricultural expansion and clearance for plantations, nest parasitism by brown-headed cowbird Molothrus ater and hybridisation with Vermivora pinus.

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