Prairie Warbler

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Setophaga discolor

Prairie Warbler

The Prairie Warbler is a small, tail- wagging songbird with olive-green upperparts, yellow throat and belly. It has black streaks on its face, sides and flanks.

Both sexes measure about 4.3 inches in length and weigh about 6.4 - 8.8 grams.

Males have olive-green upperparts, with rufous streaks on back. Bright yellow throat, breast, and belly. Bold black streaks on sides and flanks. Bright yellow eyebrow stripe. Dark line through eye. Yellow crescent under eye, bordered below by dark arc.

Females have dull, unmarked olive upperparts. Dark streaks on sides. Pale yellow underparts. Subtle markings on face, including light arc under eye, bordered below by darker semicircle.

Immatures have a gray head, with whitish around eyes, chest olive-yellow with indistinct dark stripes along sides.

CALL: Variable. Often, it is a rather musical “chip”.

SONG: A distinctive rising series of buzzy “zee” notes, fast or slow. It is usually loud and consists of several, ranging from 4 - 20 discrete notes.

Feeds mostly on insects and spiders. It also takes molluscs and fruit or other vegetative matter.

Contrary to what its name suggests, it does not live in prairies habitats. It prefers shrubby fields and regenerating forests.

It is common in open woodlands, scrublands, over grown fields and mangroves swamps. It is rarely found in thick woods.

Breeds from S Maine to S Missouri, southward to N Florida and E Texas. It is resident along Florida’s coasts.

Winters throughout Florida, Bermuda, Bahamas, Greater Antilles, and Virgin Islands. It can also be found in Belize and Honduras’ coasts.

The female builds an open cup-shaped nest with plant fibers, grass and leaves, and other materials. It is lined with fine grasses, mosses, feathers or hair, and spider web.

It is sometimes attached to 3 or 4 blades of tall grasses, or hangs between two small sprigs of a slender twig. It is located in a shrub or sapling, at about 3 meters above the ground.

She lays 3 - 5 pale brownish or gray eggs, spotted with brown and incubates the eggs for about 11 - 14 days.


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