BIRD OF THE WEEK: 3/7/2014 SCIENTIFIC NAME: Wilsonia canadensis
POPULATION: 1,500,000 individuals
IUCN STATUS: Least Concern
HABITAT: Moist forests with mixed coniferous and deciduous trees and a thick understory
The brightly-colored Canada Warbler is sometimes called the "necklaced warbler" because of the band of black streaks across the male's lemon-yellow breast. An estimated 64 percent of the population nests in Canada's boreal region.
This species spends less time on its breeding grounds than most warblers, being one of the last to arrive and among the first to depart; its total time on the breeding grounds may be no more than two months.
Breeding Bird Survey data show a population decline of 3.2 percent per year throughout the Canada Warbler's breeding range, with the greatest declines in the Northeast. Forest fragmentation; over-browsing of the understory by deer; acid rain; and the spread of the woolly adelgid (which kills fir and hemlock trees), have all reduced available habitat.
Another serious threat to Canada Warbler populations is the loss of habitat in the northern Andes, where a substantial portion of the population winters. As a result of the species' population decline, this species is on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.
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Our network of bird reserves, numbering more than 70 across Latin America and the Caribbean, provide winter habitat for the species. For example, the Abra Patricia in Peru, managed by our partner ECOAN, also provides wintering habitat for Canada Warbler, along with rare residents like the Long-whiskered Owlet and the Ochre-fronted Antpitta.
On the breeding grounds, we work to reduce threats to all birds, including the hazard of birds hitting windows. Up to one billion birds are killed in the United States every year when they collide with glass.
But there is hope: After years of research, we have identified tested, effective solutions for every situation and budget, for homeowners and architects alike. Using these solutions is something most of us can do to help Canada Warbler and other migratory birds.
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