Boreal Birds
300+ species, billions of birds rely on Canada's boreal forest as critical breeding grounds
© Tim/Wikimedia Commons (CC 2.0)

Mourning Warbler, breeding male

Mourning Warbler
Oporornis philadelphia
Perching Birds | Family: Wood Warblers, Parulidae

An estimated 75% of the species' North American population breeds within the Boreal Forest.

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Overview

This warbler supposedly gets its vernacular name from the black crepe-like patch on the breast of the male, which suggests a symbol of mourning. The scientific species name, philadelphia, derives from the city where Alexander Wilson discovered the bird in 1810. It is actually less common in Philadelphia than in many other places. Like other warblers of the genus Oporornis, the Mourning Warbler is often heard before it is seen.

Description

5 1/2" (14 cm). Similar to Connecticut Warbler: olive above and bright yellow below with a gray hood; no eye ring. Male has black patch below throat; female has gray throat. Immatures usually have faint, broken eye ring.

Voice

Loud, ringing, musical song, teedle-teedle, turtle-turtle, the last pair of notes lower.

Nesting

4 brown-spotted white eggs in a nest of fibers and leaves, lined with grass and hair, on or near the ground.

Habitat

Dense thickets of blackberries and briars in forest clearings; also wet woods with thick undergrowth.

Range/Migration

Breeds from Alberta to Newfoundland and south to North Dakota and northern New England, and in mountains to Virginia. Winters in tropics.