Although brightly colored, the sky-blue Cerulean Warbler is not easy to spot. It nests high in the forest canopy, where it can often be detected only by its buzzy song.
Recently, the Cerulean Warbler has become even harder to find. Its population has declined by about 70 percent in the past 40 years, making it one of North America's most threatened migratory songbirds. More resources are needed to reverse this alarming trend.
The Cerulean Warbler breeds in mature deciduous forests of the eastern and central United States and Canada. In winter, its home is the Andes, from Venezuela south to Bolivia.
All along its migratory path, the bird faces problems: habitat destruction on both breeding and wintering grounds, and nest parasites like Brown-headed Cowbirds in the fragmented forests that remain.
Reversing this species' population freefall is one of our top priorities. Among other efforts, in North America, we work with the Central Hardwoods Joint Venture and the Appalachian Mountain Joint Ventures to protect important breeding habitat.
The AMJV recently received an $8 million grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture designed to enhance more than 13,000 acres of habitat for Cerulean Warblers and other wildlife.
On the South American wintering grounds, we work with Fundación ProAves, partnering to define the Cerulean Warbler Conservation Corridor in 2008 and later enhancing habitat by planting trees between the Pauxi Pauxi and Cerulean Warbler reserves. This work benefits other migratory birds such as Golden-winged Warblers.
The recent expansion of Ecuador's Narupa Reserve has preserved even more valuable wintering habitat for the Cerulean.