Blue-winged Warbler - Vermivora pinus
Family: Parulidae, Wood Warblers
Description: 4 1/2" (11 cm). Sexes similar, mostly bright yellow with blue-gray wings, 2 white wing bars, and black line through eye. Greenish back and tail.
Habitat: Abandoned fields and pastures grown up to saplings; forest clearings and edges with clumps of catbrier, blackberry, and various bushes and young trees.
Nesting: 5 brown-dotted white eggs in a grass-lined cup of dead leaves and fibers, placed on or very near the ground in thick undergrowth.
Range Breeds: from Nebraska, central Iowa, southern Wisconsin, southern Ontario, and central New England south through east-central and Atlantic Coast states to northern Georgia. Winters in tropics.
Voice: Insect-like buzzy song, which sounds like a tired sigh, seee-bzzz, the bzzz pitched lower.
Discussion: This warbler perches motionless for minutes at a time when uttering its song. It frequently hybridizes with its close relative the Golden-winged Warbler. Where the ranges of the two species overlap, the Blue-winged is crowding out the Golden-winged.
Migration Info: This species has shown a dramatic increase in its breeding range as humans have cleared the great eastern forests. Unlike many other eastern birds, this species uses the east coast flyway in both spring and fall. Primarily a trans-Gulf migrant, this is usually among the first of the wood warblers to reach the upper Texas coast in early March. Like many other warblers that winter in Central America, this species associates in mixed flocks during the winter. These roving bands of insect eaters may be composed of several species of neotropical migrants as well as year-round tropical residents.