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Bird Spotlight: Cerulean Warbler

The Cerulean Warbler is a small warbler that features sky-blue upper parts and black-and-white streaked flanks. These birds are often found near bottomlands and rivers, making their appearance in Louisiana, and their breeding takes part in deciduous forests in eastern North America. The scientific name for this bird is Dendroica cerulea and it is part of the New World warbler family.

Cerulean Warblers are unique, especially as the females build nests using spider webs. When the females build their nests, they are constructed on horizontal branches in hardwood trees. They will often take the old spiderwebs and use them to construct new nests.

And, the female Cerulean Warblers may tumble from the nest and resemble a falling leaf, only to untuck their wings and fly parallel to the ground. Some people call this bungee-jumping. These small songbirds feed off insects and will often catch them as they fly in the air.

Although Cerulean Warblers are found in Louisiana, they are most commonly associated with deciduous trees and evergreen forests. However, these birds also fare well in wet bottomlands and dry slopes, which is why they’re found throughout the Louisiana habitat.

Cerulean Warblers migrate to South America to get away from the cold winters and can often be seen in Louisiana, especially as many forests are being dedicated to migratory birds. This is often the time when avid bird watchers can view the Cerulean Warblers as they fly parallel to the ground during their migration, when they are tired and fatigued.

The Cerulean Warbler population is dropping faster than any other warbler population in the U.S. In fact, from 1966 to 1999, the total population has decreased by 70%. With the decreasing rate of Cerulean Warblers, this species is under consideration for being listed under the Endangered Species Act. For now, it’s listed on the Audubon Watchlist.

Furthermore, the American Bird Conservancy is teaming up with other organizations to try to protect the wintering habitat for Cerulean Warblers and other migrating songbirds. Out of this effort has come the Cerulean Warbler Bird Reserve, which is intended to create areas that are protected for migrating songbirds.

Source: Whatbird.com Allaboutbirds.org

Image: en.wikipedia.org

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