Connecticut Warbler Oporornis agilis

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The summary below is an overview from The Birds of North America Online.

BNA Account Authors: Pitocchelli, Jay, Julie Bouchie, and David Jones

The Connecticut Warbler is a shy, retiring wood-warbler that breeds in spruce-tamarack bogs, muskeg, poplar woodlands and moist deciduous forests in northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and central Canada. It winters in northern South America in various habitats, but its distribution on the wintering grounds is poorly known. Alexander Wilson first described this species in 1812 and named it after the state of Connecticut, where he collected the first specimen, a fall migrant. The common name is something of a misnomer, however, because the species does not breed in Connecticut, nor is it a common migrant there.

A member of the genus Oporornis ¿along with the MacGillivray's (O. tolmiei), Mourning (O. philadelphia), and Kentucky (O. formosus) warblers¿the Connecticut Warbler is the most similar morphologically and ecologically to the first 2 species. The Connecticut, MacGillivray's, and Mourning warblers all breed in boreal forest, inhabiting similar strata in the forest and feeding and nesting on or near the ground. In other ways, however, they differ ecologically: The Mourning and MacGillivray's warblers tend to breed in younger, disturbed second growth.

The Connecticut Warbler was poorly known at the turn of the twentieth century and is still the least¿known member of the genus Oporornis . Its nest, for example, was not discovered until 1883, almost 70 years after the species was first described. Its secretive behavior and preference for breeding habitat in remote areas with abundant insect life has made it very difficult to study. Much of what we know about this species was provided by Walkinshaw and Dyer (1961), who made careful but limited observations of 1 nesting pair in Michigan. There are still no rigorous, experimental studies of its general biology from the breeding or wintering ranges.

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© William W. H. Gunn

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  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Connecticut Warbler (Oporornis agilis), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/conwar