Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday's Foto

The least known of North America's wood-warblers, the Swainson's Warbler is more often heard than seen. Breeding in the south-eastern United States, this drab bird is a shy inhabitant of the dense understory of bottomlands and upland ravines of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley and across the Coastal Plains regions, as well as, rhododendron-laurel-hemlock growths of the Appalachians. Spending most of their time either on or near the forest floor, their diet is primarily ants, beetles, caterpillars, crickets, flies, grasshoppers, millipedes, spiders and stink bugs. Due to their preference for dense thickets, this species is not well studied. The Swainson's Warbler overwinters in eastern Mexico, the Yucatán Peninsula and the Caribbean islands. They have also been reported as a vagrant species in Venezuela, Colombia and Panama.

Unlike most of the New World Warblers, the plumage of males and females are the same.

The Swainson's Warbler's conservation status via IUCN is "Least Concern" as populations appear stable, with a possible increase between 1966 and 2014, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. It is not on The State of North America’s Birds 2016 Watch List.

The Swainson’s Warbler’s scientific name, Limnothlypis swainsonii, means marsh warbler; Swainson’s, after William Swainson (1789–1855) English naturalist, artist and collector.

Listen to the Swainson's Warbler song ("deeta deeta-whip'-poor-will"):

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