Prairie Warbler male 5/7/18

Warbler week kicks off with a Prairie Warbler male foraging for little insects while frequently wagging his tail. They have bright yellow faces and undersides marked with thin black stripes in the face and flanks, and have distinct rusty streaks on the more olive colored back which you just get a glimpse of in this photo. A denizen of forest edges and brushy old fields turning back to forest, they’re not at all a bird of the prairie, making it another of the more stupidly named American songbirds. Males have 2 songs, the first a set of fast ascending buzzy notes sung in early spring to attract a mate, after which the song drops in key and becomes longer and slower for defending territory and interacting with other males. I’d paraphrase it something like joo joo joo jer jer jer jee jee jee jee jee. Except for vagrants to the Canadian maritimes, southern Maine is the northern limit of their breeding range, primarily the southeastern US.

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