Black-Throated Green WarblerDendroica virens (Gmelin)
Status Common in summer. Breeds. It is among the earlier warblers arriving in spring (average 9 May, earliest 3 May), and in summer it is widely distributed in coniferous and mixed growth. Major movements occur in September and occasionally early October, and it is usually last seen in October (average 25 October, latest 16 November). At least one later bird was found by Harrison F. Lewis among a flock of several hundred Yellow-rumped Warblers at Port Joli, Queens County, on 3 December 1950.
Description Length: 11.5-13.5 cm. Adult male: Back and crown olive-green; face bright yellow; tail black, with white on outer feathers near base; two white wing bars; throat and breast black; belly white; sides striped with black. Adult female: Similar but throat and breast mottled black and yellowish white, rather than solid black.
Breeding Nest: Composed of fine grass, lichens, moss, plant down and other vegetable matter woven into compact form and usually covered with bits of white birch bark held in place by cobwebs. The lining is of hair or fine black rootlets; no feathers are used. It is usually saddled on a horizontal limb of a large conifer, near the end, and relatively low to the ground. Sometimes a small spruce is selected, but it must be growing in a sunny, open glade or wooded pasture; the nest is placed close to the tnunk in such cases. I have found nests in spruce, hemlock and white birch, with frequency in the order named. I know of only one nest built in a very large White Birch and its location was unique. It was constructed inside one of the many tight curls of the old bark. The size of the opening in the curl was such that the nest fit snugly and did not extend above the rim of the curled bark, adding a measure of concealment. Eggs: 4-5, usually 4; white, speckled with various shades of brown chiefly around the larger end. Laying begins during the last week in May; two sets of fresh eggs were examined in nests near Wolfville on 2 June 1914. The latest date recorded for fresh eggs is 28June 1918, and the fact that the nest held a set of five suggests a first nesting.
Range Breeds in east-central British Columbia, northern Alberta, central Saskatchewan, central Manitoba, central Ontario, and Newfoundland, south to central South Carolina, northern Alabama, northern Ohio and Minnesota. Winters from Mexico to Panama and in southern Florida and the West Indies.
Remarks All of our warblers are full of song when they arrive in the spring, but after the cares and responsibilities of domestic life are finished for the year and it has become hot and humid in the woods, most stop singing or sing very little. But this bird is a notable exception, for it is inclined to keep right on. In the spring it is excitedly saying to you, I-seé-sues-eé with accents on the seé and eé, but come the languid days of July and August, its whole manner appears to have changed, for now it is trying to tell you just how it feels as it slowly drawls out a la-ze-du-dé. (According to Phyllis Dobson, the sharp, high terminal note eé suggests that he is just getting nicely started on his song when someone suddenly steps on his tail.)
Questions? Comments? E-mail us at: Museumfirstname.lastname@example.org
Credits and copyright information. Last updated February 20, 1998
Best viewed with Netscape 3.0 or Internet Explorer 3.0 or later.
For further information contact Webmaster, Nova Scotia Museum.