My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Wilson’s Warbler, Cardellina pusilla

Note: this post, while published, is a work in progress, as are all posts in this series, My Photo Life List. My goal is to photograph every species of bird that is seen on a regular basis here in Michigan, working from a list compiled by the Michigan chapter of the Audubon Society. This will be a lifelong project, that I began in January of 2013, and as I shoot better photos of this, or any other species, I will update the post for that species with better photos when I can. While this series is not intended to be a field guide per se, my minimum standard for the photos in this series is that one has to be able to make a positive identification of the species in my photos. The information posted here is from either my observations or the Wikipedia, the online free encyclopedia, however, I have personally shot all the photos appearing in this series.

Wilson’s Warbler, Cardellina pusilla

The Wilson’s Warbler 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.

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). It has a plain green-brown back and yellow underparts. The male has a small black cap.

The breeding habitat is fairly open woodland with undergrowth or shrubs and thickets in moist areas with streams, ponds, bogs, and wet clearings. Wilson’s Warbler breeds in northern Canada and the western US; it winters in overgrown clearings and coffee plantations, 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, and boreal forests with overgrown clear-cuts.

Wilson’s Warbler is an insectivore, feeding primarily on insects gleaned from leaves and twigs, or caught by flycatching. 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. Feeding birds often twitch their tails or flick their wings nervously.

Nesting generally begins in early March in west coast populations, and extends into August in the northern range. 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. The clutch varies from 2 to 7 eggs, which are creamy or off-white with fine reddish spots. The eggs hatch at 11–15 days and the young fledge at 8–13 days; adults care for them for several weeks.

On to my photos:

Wilson's Warbler, Cardellina pusilla

Wilson’s Warbler, Cardellina pusilla

Wilson's Warbler, Cardellina pusilla

Wilson’s Warbler, Cardellina pusilla

Wilson's Warbler, Cardellina pusilla

Wilson’s Warbler, Cardellina pusilla

Wilson's Warbler, Cardellina pusilla

Wilson’s Warbler, Cardellina pusilla

Wilson's Warbler, Cardellina pusilla

Wilson’s Warbler, Cardellina pusilla

Wilson's Warbler, Cardellina pusilla

Wilson’s Warbler, Cardellina pusilla

Wilson's Warbler, Cardellina pusilla

Wilson’s Warbler, Cardellina pusilla

This is number 129 in my photo life list, only 221 to go!

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!

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11 responses

  1. Nice shots! It’s a chubby little thing.

    October 23, 2013 at 6:19 am

    • Thanks, I thought that the black cap made these look like Moe Howard of the Three Stooges.

      October 23, 2013 at 9:55 am

      • You’re right! That’s funny.

        October 23, 2013 at 6:55 pm

  2. Nice post. Thanks!

    October 23, 2013 at 6:51 am

    • Thank you!

      October 23, 2013 at 9:55 am

  3. Pretty bird. Good shots.

    October 23, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    • Thanks Tom!

      October 24, 2013 at 1:11 am

  4. Lovely shots I say. What equipment and settings do you use? Wish you great success in your goal to photo shoot every bird in the Michigan area. How would you know that you have done that?

    Shakti

    October 24, 2013 at 8:23 am

    • Thank you very much! I use a Canon 60D camera and either a Sigma 150-500 mm or a Canon 70-200 mm lens. The settings vary so much from shot to shot, that posting them would be useless, however, I do use the program mode of the camera most of the time. I am working from a list of the species of birds seen in Michigan as compiled by the Audubon Society. I’m not sure that the list is complete, but it does at least give me a target to shoot at.

      October 24, 2013 at 9:38 am

  5. These captures are fantastic ! BTW, my bird club loved this post.

    October 28, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    • Thanks, the Beast does a pretty good job when under the right circumstances.

      October 29, 2013 at 2:05 am