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Cerulean Warbler

Setophaga cerulea ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: PARULIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Vulnerable

A small bird of the deciduous forest treetops, the sky-blue Cerulean Warbler is hard to see. It nests and forages higher in the canopy than most other warblers.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
4.3 in
11 cm
Wingspan
7.9 in
20 cm
Weight
0.3–0.4 oz
8–10 g
Other Names
  • Paruline azurée (French)
  • Pijirita azulosa, Verdín azulada, Gorjeador ceruleo, Chipe ceruléo, Reinita cerúlea (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • On the wintering grounds in South America the Cerulean Warbler usually is found in mixed-species foraging flocks, associating with tropical tanagers and other resident species.
  • When renesting after a failed first nest, the female often uses spider web from the old nest to start construction on the new nest. Fresh lining is gathered for the new nest, but spider web may be too valuable and time-consuming to waste.
  • The female Cerulean Warbler has an unusual way of leaving a nest after sitting on it a while. Some people call it "bungee-jumping." She drops from the side of the nest, keeping her wings folded to her sides, and opens her wings to fly only when she is well below the nest.

Habitat


Forest

  • Breeds in forests with tall deciduous trees and open understory, such as wet bottomlands and dry slopes.
  • Winters in broad-leaved, evergreen forests.
For detailed atlasing effort, go to Cerulean Warbler Atlas Project

Food


Insects

Primarily insects, with some plant material taken in winter.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
1–5 eggs
Egg Description
Grayish to greenish white, speckled with brown.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless.
Nest Description

Nest an open cup of bark fibers, grass stems, and hair bound together with spider web, placed on a lateral limb of a deciduous tree in mid- to upper-canopy. Usually concealed from above by leaves or twigs on the nest branch.

Nest Placement

Tree

Behavior


Foliage Gleaner

Gleans insects from leaves.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Vulnerable

Cerulean Warbler is one of the species of highest concern in the eastern United States because of a small total population size and significant declines throughout its range. This species is on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, which lists species most in danger of extinction without significant conservation action. Under consideration for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Listed on the Audubon Watchlist

Credits

  • Hamel, P. B. 2000. Cerulean Warbler (Dendroica cerulea). In The Birds of North America, No. 557 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Range Map Help

Cerulean Warbler Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

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