This migratory bird is a “priority” for statewide conservation effort

When the North Carolina Wildlife Federation sends out a species profile, there’s always a mixed message. The reader is simultaneously informed about a certain type of wildlife that he or she may never have encountered, and warned that the creature is fading.

The latest e-mail from NCWF featured the chestnut-sided warbler. A neotropical migrant, it breeds in temperate North American forests during the summer and flies to the tropics for the winter. Due to its population decline, it’s listed as a “priority species” by North Carolina Partners in Flight, a statewide program to maintain populations of migratory birds. Another conservation program called the North Carolina Wildlife Action Plan lists the bird as having a “population trend concern.”

The warbler lives in the mountains of North Carolina above elevations of 2,000 feet, darting between shrubs and low-lying trees and feeding on bugs crawling on the underside of leaves. Its range extends as far north as southern Canada and as far south as Georgia, but in North Carolina it is found only in the western mountain region. A medium-sized warbler, it’s mostly black and white, with flanks of chestnut brown. It has a bright yellow cap, and a so-called “moustache stripe” of black. This is what its song sounds like.

On the whole, migratory birds are believed to be in decline because of forest fragmentation, pesticide use, extensive land clearing and other habitat alterations in both temperate North America and South America.

— Rebecca Bowe, contributing editor

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2 thoughts on “This migratory bird is a “priority” for statewide conservation effort

  1. Dionysis

    There are currently 189 species of birds on the verge of extinction, primarily due to deforestation, habitat destruction, pesticides and climate change. The animal and plant life that we’ve all enjoyed is crashing. Unless and until radical environmental preservation policies are followed, we face a dreary future. And given the fact that the primary causes of this tragic state are overpopulation and the inherent greed of humans, the outcome looks very bleak indeed. But nonetheless, we’ll hear from the Ostrich Brigade the usual efforts to deny these facts or cite some religious twaddle to justify man’s destruction of our world. It will get a lot worse, folks.

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