Common Name: Magnolia Warbler
photo Steven Pitt
Magnolia Warblers are
passerines in the family Parulidae which groups them together with New World
Warblers. The Magnolia Warbler is one
of the most striking warblers. The upper parts are blackish with large white
patches on the wings and tail. The under parts are yellow, with heavy black
stripes almost resembling a long hanging necklace. The female is not as
bright as the male and has less distinct black stripes on the chest. This
warbler is approximately 12 cm in length and weighs 9-11 grams.
The Magnolia Warbler can be
found in damp conifer forests and tends to dwell in lower parts of trees.
Its principle foods are insects and forages for food in the lower and middle
branches of the trees. It picks insects of the tree needles, bark, trunk,
and limbs. In bad weather when insects are hard to find, this warbler will
feed on berries.
photo Steven Pitt
The Magnolia Warbler lives
by itself or in pairs. This bird is easy to watch because it lives low in
the forest and is not very shy. The Magnolia Warbler is energetic and quite
active. It is not a very territorial or aggressive bird and does not usually
show aggression to other birds. The Magnolia Warbler sings most of the day
seemingly to show itself off.
The Magnolia Warbler is
monogamous and they create nests in low branches or twigs. The nests are
rather messy and are not very stable. The nests are deep to try and protect
the eggs from brood parasitism. Usually, these warblers use twigs, weeds,
hay, and grass to build their nest with. The Magnolia Warbler has one clutch
per year that consists of 3-5 eggs. Females will incubate the eggs for 11-13
days and the male will
help with feeding. The Magnolia Warbler is migratory and will winter in
Mexico and the West Indies to Panama.
Where to see them in WNY
Magnolia Warblers can be
found in pine forests and upland hardwood forests with conifers. A great
place to see them is at Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge on the Kanyoo Nature Trail.