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Prairie Warbler

Posted on May 11, 2016

This male Prairie Warbler (Setophaga discolor) put on a sensational display for us last Sunday all while singing away and finding plenty to eat after his journey the previous night. It took a few hours to finally see the bird after hearing the rising, buzzy song repeatedly in the morning. The sun was shining brightly high in the sky by the time he came out into the open, giving the yellow warbler an even brighter glow while foraging in these willows.

Prairie Warbler-1885

Prairie Warbler-1878

Prairie Warbler-1926

Prairie Warbler-1853

The Prairie Warbler is one of those species that perplexes me in the Chautauqua-Allegheny region. I feel like there should be more of them in old, scrubby fields, in farmlands and shrubby corridors, and along regenerating forests. Perhaps it is a combination of the fact the precise habitats are still somewhat uncommon, the elevation of the region, and that Chautauqua County is near the northern boundary of their range. Additionally, there is so much land and so few eyes to survey it! Keep an eye out for a Prairie Warbler now in migration as you may be delighted by one in an unexpected spot.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator