Bird of the Week, January 24, 2011
Prairie Warbler

Banner stats and range map

This boldly-marked warbler is a bird of young, re-growing scrub oak and pine habitats, usually containing scattered saplings. Following the end of widespread deforestation in the eastern U.S. in the mid-Twentieth Century, the Prairie Warbler benefited from a period of early forest re-growth, but in recent years it has shown declines – up to 44% in the Midwest (indicated by Breeding Bird Surveys).


Nest parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds (which lay their eggs in Prairie Warbler nests) and habitat loss in its wintering range in south Florida and the West Indies may be contributing to declines. The Prairie Warbler's favored habitat is a fire-adapted community type, and state and local governments and private conservation groups, including ABC, have done much in recent years to preserve areas of this habitat using prescribed burns and other techniques, with benefits to the species.

Prairie Warbler; Maryland, Range Map; NatureServe, 2002

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