Blue-winged warbler: Bonus photo from my last bird walk

Photo by Chris Bosak
A blue-winged warbler sings from a perch in Brookfield, CT, May 2019.

To me anyway, the blue-winged warbler is one of the more strikingly plumaged birds we see in New England. The overall bright yellow plumage is an obvious eye-catcher, but the black eyestripe adds an unmistakable element of coolness to the bird’s appearance. The blue-winged warbler is common in New England and breeds throughout the region. Listen for its insect-like song as you walk along the edge of woods.

Blue-winged warblers have expanded their range northward since the 1800s, which is good and bad news. Why? This is from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology: “In the late 1800s, Blue-winged Warbler populations expanded northward as agricultural fields were abandoned and forest clearcuts started regrowing. This northward expansion increased the frequency of contact with Golden-winged Warblers, a Partners in Flight Red Watch List species, as well as hybridization between the two species. Hybridization and competition between Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers is partially responsible for declining populations of Golden-winged Warblers.”

Nature has a delicate balance.