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

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

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.

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

The blue-winged warbler is a fairly common New World warbler, 11.5 cm (4.5 in) long and weighing 8.5 g (0.30 oz). It breeds in eastern North America in southern Ontario and the eastern United States.

The blue-winged warbler is a small warbler at 11.4–12.7 cm (4.5–5.0 in) long, with a wingspan of 17–19.5 cm (6.7–7.7 in). The breeding plumage of the male consists of a bright yellow head, breast and underparts. There is no streaking of the underparts of the bird. It has a narrow black line though the eyes and light blueish gray with two white wing-bars, which are diagnostic field marks.

The female is duller overall with less yellow on the crown. Immature of the species are olive-green with wings similar to the adults.

The song is a series of buzzing notes. The call is a sharp chip.

Blue-winged warblers are migratory New World warblers. They winter in southern Central America and breed from east-central Nebraska in the west to southern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and southern Ontario in the north to central New York, southern Vermont, southern New Hampshire and New England to the east, south to western South Carolina, northern Georgia, northern Alabama, eastern Tennessee and southern Missouri.

The breeding habitat is open scrubby areas. Blue-winged warblers nest on the ground or low in a bush, laying four to seven eggs in a cup nest. The females incubate the eggs for 10–11 days. The young fledge in 8–10 days.

Their diet consists of insects, and spiders.

On to my photos:

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

This is number 170 in my photo life list, only 180 to go!

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

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15 responses

  1. Thank you for the information illustrated by your excellent pictures. What a pretty bird it is.

    January 6, 2015 at 4:21 am

    • Thank you Susan!

      January 7, 2015 at 5:03 am

  2. That is a pretty little bird, and you got some great shots of him. I wonder if the small nest that I found in a bush about a foot off the ground a couple of years ago was one of theirs. It sounds like it could have been.

    January 6, 2015 at 8:22 am

    • Thanks Allen! I haven’t gotten around to IDing bird nests yet, that can be done, but it’s even harder than IDing the birds. 😉 I followed this warbler around for some time, he never quit singing, which is why birding in spring is the best time of the year.

      January 7, 2015 at 5:05 am

  3. This makes me wonder how many warblers I may have seen in passing that I figured were finches. Your blog always teaches me something. Thanks.

    January 6, 2015 at 10:27 am

    • Thanks Judy! What’s harder than telling a warbler from a finch is telling a vireo from a warbler, when you can do that, then you’re becoming a true birder.

      January 7, 2015 at 5:07 am

      • Guess I’ll have to rely on you to help me out with that!

        January 7, 2015 at 10:43 am

      • Well, if I ever master it, I’ll pass on what I learned. 😉

        January 7, 2015 at 11:27 pm

  4. What a beautiful post… I also found it peaceful and serene.
    Thanks for sharing and all the best to you…
    Aquileana 😀

    PS I came via Clare´s blog! Cheers ⭐

    January 6, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    • Thank you very much! I’m happy that you found the trip from Clare’s wonderful blog worthwhile.

      January 7, 2015 at 5:07 am

  5. This is such an attractive warbler – I like the dark line through its eye. Excellent shots!

    January 6, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    • Thank you Clare!

      January 7, 2015 at 5:03 am

  6. I love the black eye mask. Just think Jerry, only a few more months of this frigid weather and we’ll be seeing warblers again!

    January 8, 2015 at 9:58 am

    • Thanks Amy! I added a widget to my blog to count down to spring, I’m already tired of winter and it’s just begun.

      January 9, 2015 at 11:35 am

      • Yes, me too! I’ve had two days off work and am glad I don’t have to go out in the cold today. The beagles are getting restless, not getting their walks. I did try taking them once earlier this week. By time I got my snow pants, boots, parka, scarf, heavy gloves, etc, on, I could barely move and was out of breath! LOL That was Tuesday, before the bitter cold hit. With these extremely low temperatures, their paws wouldn’t last long even if I was willing to bundle up.

        January 9, 2015 at 12:48 pm