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Overview

Brief Summary

Cardellina pusilla

A small (4 ¾ inches) wood warbler, Wilson’s Warbler is most easily identified by its black cap and yellow throat and breast. Other field marks include an olive-green back, thin black bill, and orange legs. The female Wilson’s Warbler is duller yellow-green and lacks the male’s black cap. Wilson’s Warbler breeds across a large portion of central Canada and Alaska. Smaller breeding populations occur south of the Canadian border in Maine, along the Pacific coast, and at higher elevations in the Rocky Mountains. Most Wilson’s Warblers winter in Mexico and Central America, but a small number spend the winter in south Texas and along the Gulf Coast of eastern Texas and Louisiana. In summer, Wilson’s Warbler breeds in overgrown thickets, clearings, and other semi-open habitats near woodland. During the winter, this species inhabits tropical forests as well as overgrown fields and scrubland. On migration, Wilson’s Warbler may be found in a variety of habitat types similar to those used for breeding. This species primarily eats insects and spiders, but occasionally also eats fruit. Despite its bright colors, Wilson’s Warbler is often difficult to observe due to its small size and preference for habitats with thick vegetation. With the aid of binoculars, Wilson’s Warblers may be seen deep in the undergrowth gleaning insects from branches. Wilson’s Warbler is most active during the day, but, like many migratory songbirds, this species migrates at night.

Threat Status: Least concern

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Distribution

occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Breeding

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Breeding

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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Breeding range extends from most of Alaska eastward across central Canada to Labrador and Newfoundland, and south to southern Alaska, southern California, Nevada, Utah, northern New Mexico, central Saskatchewan, southern Manitoba, northern Great Lakes region, northeastern New York, northern Vermont, central Maine, and Nova Scotia (AOU 1998).

Primary winter range extends from coastal California (rare), southern Baja California, southern Sonora, southern Texas, southern Louisiana, southern Mississippi (rare), southern Alabama (rare), and Florida south through Middle America (rarely in the Yucatan Peninsula) to Panama (AOU 1998).

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Physical Description

Size

Length: 12 cm

Weight: 7 grams

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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Habitat includes semi-open areas in moist woodlands, bogs with scattered trees, willow and alder thickets, and areas with similar vegatation structure. Winter habitats include semi-open or lightly wooded areas, such as the canopy, openings, and edges of forests, second growth, coffee plantations, brushy fields, and yards (Stiles and Skutch 1989). Nests are on the ground at the bases of shrubs (e.g., willows in the Sierra Nevada) or saplings or under cover of ground vegetation; nests may be above ground in thick vegetation in coastal California and Oregon. Individuals often return to the nesting areas used the previous year (Stewart et al. 1978).

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Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Depth range based on 5 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 4 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 0
  Temperature range (°C): 13.353 - 15.249
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.733 - 3.951
  Salinity (PPS): 33.310 - 33.476
  Oxygen (ml/l): 5.880 - 6.095
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.419 - 0.674
  Silicate (umol/l): 3.287 - 5.723

Graphical representation

Temperature range (°C): 13.353 - 15.249

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.733 - 3.951

Salinity (PPS): 33.310 - 33.476

Oxygen (ml/l): 5.880 - 6.095

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.419 - 0.674

Silicate (umol/l): 3.287 - 5.723
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

Migrants arrive in Sierra Nevada nesting areas in late May; on California coast, males begin to arrive in late March (Stewart et al. 1978). Migrants arrive in the southern winter range in mid-September, depart by mid-May (Stiles and Skutch 1989).

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Diet includes insects (wasps, ants, flies, beetles, caterpillars, etc.). Foraging occurs throughout available vegetation. Most food is obtained from leaves by gleaning while perched or flying (Stewart et al. 1978). In winter in Mexico, this warbler forages in the upper third of the canopy where the foliage is fairly dense and leaf size is small; leaves are the most common feeding substrate (Rappole and Warner 1980).

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: > 300

Comments: This species is represented by a large number of occurrences.

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Global Abundance

>1,000,000 individuals

Comments: Total population size is unknown but presumably exceeds 1,000,000. Rich et al. (2004) estimated population size at 36,000,000.

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General Ecology

In California, territory size in different habitats ranges from about 0.2 to 2.0 ha (Stewart et al. 1978).

Usually this warbler is solitary and territorial in winter, but it may join mixed flocks (Stiles and Skutch 1989).

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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 6.8 years (wild)
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Reproduction

Clutch size commonly is 3-4 in coastal California, 4-5 in the Sierra Nevada, 5-6 in Alaska. Incubation, by female, lasts 12-15 days. Young are tended by both parents, leave nest at 9-10 days in California. Some males are polygynous in the Sierra Nevada (Stewart et al. 1978).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Wilsonia pusilla

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 31 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGAATAGTGGGTACCGCCCTAAGCCTCCTTATCCGAGCAGAATTAGGCCAACCCGGAGCCCTTCTGGGAGACGACCAAGTTTACAACGTAGTTGTTACGGCCCATGCCTTCGTAATAATTTTCTTTATAGTTATGCCAATTATGATCGGAGGCTTCGGAAACTGACTAGTTCCTTTAATAATCGGAGCCCCAGACATAGCATTCCCACGTATAAACAACATAAGCTTCTGACTACTCCCACCATCATTCCTTCTACTTCTGGCATCCTCCACAGTTGAAGCAGGTGTCGGCACAGGCTGAACAGTATACCCTCCACTAGCCGGCAACCTAGCCCACGCCGGAGCCTCAGTCGACCTAGCAATCTTCTCTCTACACCTAGCCGGTATTTCATCAATCCTCGGAGCAATCAACTTCATTACAACAGCAATCAATATAAAACCTCCTGCCCTCTCACAATACCAAACCCCCCTATTCGTCTGATCCGTCCTAATCACTGCAGTTCTCCTACTCCTCTCTCTTCCAGTCCTAGCCGCAGGAATCACAATACTCCTAACAGACCGCAACCTCAACACTACATTCTTCGACCCAGCCGGAGGAGGAGACCCCGTCCTATACCAACATCTTTTCTGATTCTTCGGACACCCAGAAGTCTACATCTTAATCCTC
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Wilsonia pusilla

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 32
Specimens with Barcodes: 34
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5B - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5B - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Large breeding range in North America; large winter range mostly in Mexico and Central America; large population size; many occurrences; overall population apparently has declined over the past several decades, probably as a result of anthropogenic habitat changes.

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
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Global Short Term Trend: Decline of 10-30%

Comments: Breeding Bird Survey data indicate an ongoing decline over the past 10 years or three generations.

Global Long Term Trend: Unknown

Comments: Trend over the past 200 years is unknown, but this species appears to have undergone a decline over the past several decades. Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data for 1966-2007 indicate a significant survey-wide decline averaging 2.3% per year; this amounts to a 61% decline over this time period. BBS abundance (average number of individuals per route) declined from 1.6-2.1 in the 1960s and early 1970s to 0.9-1.2 in 2000-2007 (decline of around one individual per route), so the absolute magnitude of the decline is relatively modest.

BBS data for 1966-2003 indicate that areas of population decline are extensive in British Columbia, U.S. Pacific coast states,Southern Rockies, south-central Canada, and portions of northern New England and adjacent Canada, whereas population increases occurred in interior western North America and portions of the area extending from the northern Great Lakes region to Newfoundland.

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Population

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Degree of Threat: Low

Comments: Population trends appear to be driven primarily by habitat changes. Ammon and Gilbert (1999) stated that population increases in northern forested regions in the 1960s and1970s may have been related to increased availability of midsuccessional, deciduous scrub habitats following logging, whereas regional decreases, particularly in the west, most likely reflect extensive destruction of riparian habitats. No other major threats have been identified, but the role of brood parasitism by brown-headed cowbird needs further study. Habitat changes in the winter range are not thought to be a significant concern at the present time (Ammon and Gilbert 1999).

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Management

Global Protection: Very many (>40) occurrences appropriately protected and managed

Comments: Many occurrences are in protected areas.

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Wikipedia

Wilson's warbler

The Wilson's warbler (Cardellina pusilla) is a small New World warbler. It is greenish above and yellow below, with rounded wings and a long, slim tail. The male has a black crown patch; depending on the subspecies, that mark is reduced or absent in the female. It breeds across Canada and south through the western United States, and winters from Mexico south through much of Central America. It is a very rare vagrant to western Europe.

Description[edit]

The Wilson's warbler is a small passerine, ranging from 10 to 12 cm (3.9 to 4.7 in) in length, with a wingspan of 14–17 cm (5.5–6.7 in) and a mass of 5–10 g (0.18–0.35 oz).[2] It has a plain green-brown back and yellow underparts. The male has a small black cap. Males of the western race W. p. chryseola are greener above and brighter than males of the eastern, nominate race. Individuals from Alaska and the west-central portion of the species' range average slightly larger than those found in eastern and Pacific coastal populations.[3] Spanish names include Chipe corona negra, Reinita Gorrinegra, Reinita de Wilson, Chipe Careto, Reinita de Capucha, Chipe Coroninegro; the French name is Paruline à calotte noire.[3]

Voice[edit]

Wilson's warbler song recorded in Minnesota, in mid-May


Its song is a chattering series of loud descending notes. The call is a flat "chuff".[4]

Taxonomy and etymology[edit]

The Wilson's warbler was first described in 1811 by the ornithologist Alexander Wilson, who placed it in the genus Muscicapa. The species was moved to Wilsonia by the naturalist and ornithologist Charles Lucien Bonaparte in 1838. Zoologist Thomas Nuttall moved it to Sylvania in 1840, and by 1845, many authors included it in Myiodioctes. In 1899, the American Ornithological Union returned the species to Wilsonia. The species is currently assigned to the genus Cardellina.[5] The specific epithet pusilla means "small."

There are three recognized subspecies:

The chryseola subspecies, which nests in northern coastal California to southwestern coastal Canada, has a distinctive orange-tinged yellow forehead. The population of the subspecies has declined sharply in the 21st century because it migrates preferentially to the southern end of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico,[7] where luxury resort and residential developments have replaced the bird's habitat.[8]

The Wilson's warbler resembles the yellow warbler: the latter is readily distinguished by its different shape, yellow wing markings, and yellow tail spots.[9]

Range and habitat[edit]

The breeding habitat is fairly open woodland with undergrowth or shrubs and thickets in moist areas with streams, ponds, bogs, and wet clearings.[4] Wilson's warbler breeds in northern Canada and the western US; it winters in overgrown clearings and coffee plantations,[4] forest edges, deciduous forests, tropical evergreens, pine-oak forests, mangroves, thorn-scrub, riparian gallery forests, brushy fields, and mixed forests . At all seasons, it prefers secondary growth, riparian habitats, lakes, montane and boreal forests with overgrown clearcuts. It is a very rare vagrant to Western Europe.[3]

Behavior[edit]

Feeding[edit]

Wilson's warbler is an insectivore, feeding primarily on insects gleaned from leaves and twigs, or caught by flycatching.[10] Some of these insects include beetles, bees, or caterpillars. The Wilson's warbler is an active forager, moving rapidly through shrubs, on the ground, and sometimes in taller trees during the winter.[4] Feeding birds often twitch their tails or flick their wings nervously.[11] The observed feeding rate of the male Wilson's warbler was not significantly different between males with or without mates.[12] It also eats a few berries.[2]

Breeding[edit]

Nesting generally begins in early March in west coast populations, and extends into August in the northern range.[4] The female does the majority of the nest building.

The cup nest is typically constructed of vegetation and lined with grasses and hair. It is often sunken into moss or sedges at the base of shrubs.[4] The clutch varies from 2 to 7 eggs, which are creamy or off-white with fine reddish spots. The young are altricial.[3] The montane populations generally have a higher clutch size and nest success rate than those on the coast.[4] The eggs hatch at 11–15 days and the young fledge at 8–13 days; adults care for them for several weeks.

Some montane populations are polygamous (one male breeds with multiple females).[4]

Wilson's warbler is a frequent host for the brown-headed cowbird.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Wilsonia pusilla". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "All About Birds: Wilson's Warbler Life History". Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Retrieved 4 December 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d "All About Birds: Wilson's Warbler Life History". Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Retrieved 4 December 2009
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i http://www.borealbirds.org/birdguide/bd0387_species.shtml
  5. ^ Barrows, Walter Bradford (1912). Michigan Bird Life. East Lansing: Michigan Agricultural College. p. 685. 
  6. ^ a b c "ITIS Report: Wilsonia". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  7. ^ Rundel, Colin W.; Wunder, Michael B.; Alvarado, Allison H.; Ruegg, Kristen C.; Harrigan, Ryan; Schuh, Andrew; Kelly, Jeffrey F.; Siegel, Rodney B.; Desante, David F.; Smith, Thomas B.; Novembre, John (2013). "Novel statistical methods for integrating genetic and stable isotope data to infer individual-level migratory connectivity". Molecular Ecology 22 (16): 4163–76. doi:10.1111/mec.12393. PMID 23906339. 
  8. ^ Graham, Rex (2013). "Ornithologists discover why Wilson’s Warbler subspecies vanishing". birdsnews.com. 
  9. ^ Semenchuk, Glen Peter (1992). The Atlas of Breeding Birds of Alberta. Nature Alberta. p. 249. ISBN 978-0-9696134-0-4. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  10. ^ Curson, Jon; Quinn, David; Beadle, David (1994). New World Warblers. Christopher Helm. pp. 188–189. ISBN 0-7136-3932-6. 
  11. ^ Benedict, Audrey DeLella (2008). The Naturalist's Guide to the Southern Rockies. pp. 431. ISBN 1-55591-535-3
  12. ^ Gowaty, P.A. (1996). Field studies of parental care in birds: New data focus questions on variation among females. Advance in the Study of Behavior, 25. 477-531.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Formerly placed in the genus Wilsonia. Phylogenetic analyses of sequences of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA (Lovette et al. 2010) indicate that two species formerly placed in the genus Wilsonia (canadensis and pusilla)and both species formerly placed in the genus Ergaticus (rubra and versicolor) form a clade with Cardellina rubrifrons. The generic name Cardellina has priority for this clade (AOU 2011).

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