[order] Passeriformes | [family] Parulidae | [latin] Dendroica magnolia | [UK] Magnolia Warbler | [FR] Paruline à tête cendrée | [DE] Hemlock-Waldsänger | [ES] Chipe de Cola Fajeada | [IT] Dendroica magnolia | [NL] Magnoliazanger

Magnoliazanger determination

copyright: Bill Wayman

Rather attenuated, highly decorated Nearctic wood warbler, all plumages showing broad, centrally divided white band across tail (diagnostic) and yellow throat and rump. Breeding Male mainly black above, with white rear supercilium below grey crown and white panel across coverts, and yellow below, with strong black streaks from breast to flanks. Winter male and female duller, with female showing only double white wing-bar and narrower body streaks. Immature shows striking pale spectacle and greyish band across breast.

Breeds in cool temperate eastern Nearctic, mostly in young or low conifer woods or open mixed woods and edges. Migrants forage on trees in orchards and villages.

Breeds in North America from south-west Mackenzie and central British Columbia east to Newfoundland, south to north-east Minnesota, central Michigan, Massachusetts, and in Appalachians to West Virginia. Accidental. Iceland: Rangarvalla Sýsla, September-December 1995; Gullbringu Sýsla, October 1995. Britain: Isles of Scilly, September 1981.

The Magnolia Warbler feeds almost exclusively on insects. It forages for its food in the lower or middle branches of the trees. It picks insects off of tree needles, leaves, and twigs, as well as sometimes from the undersides of plants and under the bark of trees. Sometimes it will also hover to search for food and fly short distances to catch its prey. During bad weather, when insects can be hard to find, the Magnolia Warbler will also feed on berries.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 3,600,000 km². It has a large global population estimated to be 32,000,000 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]

Magnolia Warblers create their nests in low tree branches or twigs, usually in the most dense areas of the forest. They seem to build rather messy nests, which are put together very carelessly, and are not very stable or secure. They are made up of twigs, weeds, hay, and grass. The female Magnolia Warbler lays from 3-5 eggs at a time and they lay their eggs once a year. Incubation lasts 11 to 13 days. Females incubate the eggs and have a more active role in the raising of the young birds, but both the male and the female supply food to the young. Even after they fledge, baby birds remain close to one another and to their parents for about a month afterward. During this time, the parents continue to provide food for the young, however after this time they are on their own.

Migratory. Winter range much smaller than breeding range: from eastern Mexico south to Panama, and (fewer) in Greater Antilles. Autumn migration is east of Rockies, mostly along or west of Appalachians; most birds then cross middle of Gulf of Mexico. Route in spring extends further west than autumn, following coast of Mexico into Texas as well as crossing Gulf further east.