[order] Passeriformes | [family] Parulidae | [latin] Dendroica fusca | [UK] Blackburnian Warbler | [FR] Paruline à gorge orangée | [DE] Fichtenwaldsänger | [ES] Chipe de Garganta Anaranjada | [IT] Dendroica fosca | [NL] Oranjekeelzanger

Oranjekeelzanger determination

copyright: Robert Schaefer

Quite small, notably arboreal Nearctic warbler, with dark ear-coverts, pale braces on back, yellow foreparts, and mainly white outer tail-feathers. Breeding male has rich orange throat and breast and white panel on mid-wing; female has foreparts yellow and 2 white wing-bars; immature like dull female.

Strictly arboreal, breeding in cooler temperate eastern Nearctic forest regions, mature stands of spruce, hemlock, and pine being the primary breeding habitat, although deciduous and mixed second growth are also used. Wintering birds in South American tropics mainly inhabit rain and cloud forests at 800-3100 m.

Breeds in North America from central Alberta east to south-west Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, south to Great Lakes region and Connecticut, and in Appalachians to northern Georgia. Accidental. Iceland: 1st-winter ) found exhausted on trawler, c. 65 km north-east of Horn (north-west Iceland), autumn 1987. Britain: Skomer (Dyfed), October 1961

These birds are insectivorous, but will include berries in their diets in wintertime. They usually search for insects in treetops.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 2,000,000 km². It has a large global population estimated to be 5,900,000 individuals (Rich et al. 2003). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

Monogamous; one brood is raised per year, although a female may lay subsequent clutches if the previous nesting attempts fail. The nest is a dense cup shape, typically located on a conifer limb well out from the trunk. (The hemlock is a frequent choice for the nest site, if these trees are present.) It is constructed of twigs, bark and plant fibers, and lined with lichens, moss, fine grass, pine needles and hair. The female builds the nest. The female lays 3-5 eggs in a clutch. The chicks are altricial at hatching which occurs after 11-12 days of incubation by the female. The female also broods alone. Both parents care for the nestlings and after fledging may divide up the brood. The number of days from hatching to fledging is not known.

Long-distance migrant, wintering in Central and South America from Costa Rica south to Venezuela and central Peru. Ecologically restricted in summer and only locally common, but in main wintering area, Colombia, occurs in various forest strata and habitats and is most abundant of Parulidae. Migration mainly along or west of Appalachians, with fewer on Atlantic coast and in south-east states; most birds then cross (rather than fly round) Gulf of Mexico to Central America; spring route is further west than autumn, with yet fewer in south-east USA, and more on western Gulf coast and in Texas.