Bird of the Week, September 20, 2013
Red-faced Warbler

 

Red-faced Warbler by Greg Lavaty

 

The Red-faced Warbler is one of only two warblers in the U.S. with bright red in its plumage (the other is the Painted Redstart). Unlike many warbler species, female Red-faced Warblers are nearly as brightly colored as males. This species has a distinctive habit of flicking its tail sideways as it feeds.

 

Male Red-faced Warblers do not appear to defend territories, and extra-pair copulations are common in the species. Over 45 percent of all nests in one study contained young that did not belong to the attending male. Its nest, a cup of bark, dead leaves, or pine needles, is built in a small hole on the ground beneath a log or plant and is lined with grass and hair.

 

Logging in areas where the Red-faced Warbler breeds can result in drastic declines and even complete disappearance of the local population. In a study of a gradient of disturbed plots in forest ranging from clear cuts to selectively logged plots, these birds were present only in the untouched control areas.

 

This species would benefit from more study on its wintering areas and more research on the effects of fire management and other forestry practices on its populations. The Red-faced Warbler is fairly easy to find in areas near the Paton property, a birding landmark which ABC and other organizations are working to save.

 

 

Help ABC conserve this and other birds and their habitats!

 


 

 

 

Photo by Greg Lavaty, texastargetbirds.com; Range Map, ABC