Cerulean Warblers
Cerulean Warbler_Greg Lavaty

Cerulean Warbler by Greg Lavaty


The Challenge

The Cerulean Warbler was formerly one of the most abundant breeding warblers in the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys, but is now one of the country’s most imperiled migrant songbirds. Overall, Cerulean Warbler numbers have plummeted by almost 70% since 1966. This elusive bird winters in the northern Andes CW Conservation Corridor breeds from the Great Lakes region to Georgia, and west from Wisconsin to Louisiana, with particular concentrations in the Appalachians and Central Hardwoods region. Both its breeding and wintering habitat are being lost.


ABC Conservation Framework

Efforts to conserve the Northern Bobwhite fall under Conserving Habitats in ABC's conservation framework
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View Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys in a larger map


Primary Birds Impacted

Cerulean Warbler, Wood Thrush, Kentucky Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, Prothonotary Warbler, Acadian Flycatcher.



ABC is working with both domestic and international partners to restore and protect breeding habitat, reduce threats, and develop habitat management recommendations for landowners to optimize conditions for Cerulean Warblers.ABC is working to retain extensively forested landscapes and stem the conversion of bottomland forests to pasture, and for recreation and other forms of development. This is important not only to protect the nesting habitat, but also to help hold down populations of nest parasites such as the Brown-headed Cowbird that can negatively impact Cerulean populations by lowering breeding success.

ABC Results

ABC Results Button ABC led an effort to purchase 40 acres of bottomland forest habitat in a region of the Missouri Ozarks with high densities of Cerulean Warblers to protect it from conversion to other land uses.
ABC Results Button ABC has led the Central Hardwoods Joint Venture in efforts to educate partners about the needs of Cerulean Warblers throughout the region, and has instituted surveys and research projects that will help us to better understand their needs and build ever-more efficient conservation strategies.
ABC Results Button As part of the Cerulean Warbler Technical Group and the Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture, ABC and its partners have been studying forest management techniques that will enhance habitat for Ceruleans. The partners will use these studies to create “Best Management Practices” for land managers and landowners to implement on their property.
ABC Results Button ABC is also assisting partners in the development of “Cerulean hotspot” maps to help the conservation community target their collective efforts for Cerulean conservation.


What's Next?

What Next Button Reforest former mine lands in the heart of Cerulean Warbler breeding territory in Kentucky, Virginia, and Pennsylvania as part of the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative.
What Next Button Continue land protection efforts, surveys, and research needed to determine effective and efficient conservation strategies.